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The synthesis of alpha (immediate-early) polypeptides in Vero cells infected with pseudorabies virus was studied. Cycloheximide was added at the beginning of infection and removed several hours later. The accumulated alpha mRNA was translated either in vivo in the presence of actinomycin D to prevent further mRNA synthesis, or in vitro. In intact cells three electrophoretically distinct virus-specific proteins were synthesized, with apparent molecular weights of approximately 180 000 (A), 190 000 (B) and 200 000 (C). The accumulation of B and C was prevented by the proline analogue azetidine. Only protein A was detected in vitro. Proteins B and C were not detected in normally infected cells. All three were associated with the nuclear fraction of cell homogenates and A and B were phosphorylated. The radioactivity of B and C declined during a chase period while that of A increased. This change was prevented by adding cycloheximide during the chase. The pattern of chymotrypsin digestion products suggested that A and B at least were similar proteins. It is presumed that protein A is the single immediate-early protein previously described and analogous to ICP 4 of herpes simplex virus. The significance and function, if any, of proteins B and C is not known but it is possible that they represent stages in the formation or transport of A within the cell and that the progression depends on an unstable protein which is depleted in cells treated with cycloheximide.

Original publication




Journal article


J Gen Virol

Publication Date



65 ( Pt 9)


1449 - 1456


Animals, Cell Line, Cell Transformation, Viral, Cercopithecus aethiops, Cycloheximide, Dactinomycin, Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel, Herpesvirus 1, Suid, Kidney, Molecular Weight, Protein Biosynthesis, RNA, Messenger, Transcription, Genetic, Viral Proteins