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Virologica Sinica, 32 (5) : 387, 2017
Research Article
Varicella-zoster virus ORF7 interacts with ORF53 and plays a role in its trans-Golgi network localization
1. State Key Laboratory of Molecular Vaccinology and Molecular Diagnostics, National Institute of Diagnostics and Vaccine Development in Infectious Diseases, School of Public Health, Xiamen University, Xiamen 361102, China
2. Department of Microbiology, Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, New Jersey Medical School, Rutgers University, Newark 070101, USA
 Correspondence: zhuhu@njms.rutgers.edu;tcheng@xmu.edu.cn
Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) is a neurotropic alphaherpesvirus that causes chickenpox and shingles. ORF7 is an important virulence determinant of VZV in both human skin and nerve tissues, however, its specific function and involved molecular mechanism in VZV pathogenesis remain largely elusive. Previous yeast two-hybrid studies on intraviral protein-protein interaction network in herpesviruses have revealed that VZV ORF7 may interact with ORF53, which is a virtually unstudied but essential viral protein. The aim of this study is to identify and characterize VZV ORF53, and to investigate its relationship with ORF7. For this purpose, we prepared monoclonal antibodies against ORF53 and, for the first time, characterized it as a ~40 kDa viral protein predominantly localizing to the trans-Golgi network of the infected host cell. Next, we further confirmed the interaction between ORF7 and ORF53 by co-immunoprecipitation and co-localization studies in both plasmid-transfected and VZV-infected cells. Moreover, interestingly, we found that ORF53 lost its trans-Golgi network localization and became dispersed in the cytoplasm of host cells infected with an ORF7-deleted recombinant VZV, and thus ORF7 seems to play a role in normal subcellular localization of ORF53. Collectively, these results suggested that ORF7 and ORF53 may function as a complex during infection, which may be implicated in VZV pathogenesis.
Received: 28 Jul 2017  Accepted: 29 Sep 2017  Published online: 30 Oct 2017
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