Fachbereich Veterinärmedizin



    Fluorescently tagged pUL47 of Marek's disease virus reveals differential tissue expression of the tegument protein in vivo (2012)

    Zeitschriftenartikel / wissenschaftlicher Beitrag
    Jarosinski, Keith W
    Arndt, Sina
    Kaufer, Benedikt B
    Osterrieder, Nikolaus
    Journal of virology; 86(5) — S. 2428–2436
    ISSN: 0022-538x
    DOI: 10.1128/JVI.06719-11
    Pubmed: 22190714
    Institut für Virologie

    Robert-von-Ostertag-Str. 7-13
    Gebäude 35
    14163 Berlin
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    Abstract / Zusammenfassung

    Marek's disease virus (MDV), a lymphotropic alphaherpesvirus, causes Marek's disease (MD) in chickens. MD is characterized by neurological signs, chronic wasting, and T cell lymphomas that predominate in the visceral organs. MDV replicates in a highly cell-associated manner in vitro and in vivo, with infectious virus particles being released only from feather follicle epithelial (FFE) cells in the skin. Virus produced and shed from FFE cells allows transmission of MDV from infected to naïve chickens, but the mechanisms or roles of differential virus gene expression have remained elusive. Here, we generated recombinant MDV in which we fused enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) to the C terminus of the tegument protein pUL47 (vUL47-EGFP) or pUL49 (vUL49-EGFP). While vUL49-EGFP was highly attenuated in vitro and in vivo, vUL47-EGFP showed unaltered pathogenic potential and stable production of pUL47-EGFP, which facilitated direct analysis of pUL47 expression in cells and tissues. Our studies revealed that pUL47-EGFP is expressed at low levels and localizes to the nucleus during lytic replication in vitro and in lymphocytes in the spleen in vivo, while it is undetectable in tumors. In contrast, pUL47-EGFP is highly abundant and localizes predominantly in the cytoplasm in FFE cells in the skin, where MDV is shed into the environment. We concluded that differential expression and localization of MDV pUL47-EGFP tegument protein is potentially important for the unique cell-associated nature of MDV in vitro and in lymphocytes in vivo, as well as production of free virus in FFE cells.