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Cellular polypeptides overexpressed after herpes simplex infection permit virus subtyping and may help diagnose cervical cancer.
  1. J M Davis,
  2. N B La Thangue,
  3. D L Taylor,
  4. D S Latchman,
  5. M Anderson,
  6. A S Tyms
  1. Department of Medical Microbiology, St Mary's Hospital Medical School, London.

    Abstract

    The synthesis of cellular macromolecules is inhibited after infection with herpes simplex viruses (HSV) although certain host proteins accumulate to high concentrations as identified by monoclonal antibody TG7A. By western blotting, a polypeptide with a relative molecular weight of 90 kilodaltons was identified in cells infected with type 2 viruses and a polypeptide of 40 kilodaltons relative molecular weight in type 1 infected cells, and virus typing was confirmed by restriction enzyme analysis of viral DNA. Thirty seven clinical isolates from the genital region were subtyped as HSV type 2 and 18 from the orofacial region as type 1 by the different intracellular location of the 90 kilodalton and 40 kilodalton proteins seen on immunofluorescent staining of cells infected with HSV. Expression of these proteins has been associated with cellular transformation due to gene products of HSV or other viruses. Overexpression of the cellular proteins identified by TG7A reactivity was shown to be a marker for cells in cervical smears from patients with CIN III that appeared to be dyskaryotic. Little or no reaction was observed in squamous epithelial cells found in normal or abnormal smears.

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