The herpesvirus ubiquitin-specific protease (USP) family, whose founding member was discovered as a protease domain embedded in the large tegument protein of herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1), is conserved across all members of the Herpesviridae. Whether this conservation is indicative of an essential function of the enzyme in vivo has not yet been established. As reported here, USP activity is conserved in Marek's disease virus (MDV), a tumorigenic alpha-herpesvirus. A single amino acid substitution that abolishes the USP activity of the MDV large tegument protein diminishes MDV replication in vivo, and severely limits the oncogenic potential of the virus. Expression of the USP transcripts in MDV-transformed cell lines further substantiates this hypothesis. The herpesvirus USP thus appears to be required not only to maintain a foothold in the immunocompetent host, but also to contribute to malignant outgrowths.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - Dec 11 2007|
- Deubiquitinating enzyme
- Marek's disease virus
ASJC Scopus subject areas