Bovine herpes virus 1 (BHV-1), like other α-herpesvirinae subfamily members, establishes latency in sensory neurons. Periodically BHV-1 reactivates from latency, resulting in virus shedding and spread to uninfected cattle. Although reactivation from latency does not usually lead to recurrent disease, the latency-reactivation cycle is crucial for virus transmission. The latency-related (LR) RNA is abundantly expressed during latency, and expression of a LR encoded protein is necessary for dexamethasone-induced reactivation from latency in cattle. Within LR promoter sequences, a small open reading frame (ORF) was identified (ORF-E) that is antisense to the LR-RNA, and downstream of the bICP0 gene. ORF-E transcription is consistently detected in trigeminal ganglia (TG) of latently infected calves, suggesting ORF-E expression plays a role in the latency-reactivation cycle. Polyclonal antiserum directed against an ORF-E peptide or the entire ORF-E protein specifically recognizes the nucleus of sensory neurons in TG of latently infected calves. The ORF-E peptide-specific antiserum also recognizes a protein when mouse neuroblastoma cells (neuro-2A) are transfected with an ORF-E expression construct. In contrast to the growth inhibiting properties of the LR gene, stably transfected ORF-E-expressing cells were obtained. Neuro-2A cells stably transfected with a plasmid expressing ORF-E induced morphological changes that resembled neurite-like projections. In contrast, neurite-like projections were not observed following transfection of neuro-2A cells with an empty vector. These studies suggest that a protein encoded by ORF-E has the potential to alter the physiology or metabolism of neuronal cell types, which may be important for long-term latency.
- Bovine herpesvirus type 1
- Neurite outgrowth
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience