A previous report [Virus Genes 6 (1992) 365-378] has shown that the US1 gene of Marek's disease virus serotype 1 (MDV1) encodes a homologue of herpes simplex virus type 1 infected cell protein No. 22 (ICP22). In the present study, we expressed and identified a product of the MDV1 US1 gene in chicken embryo fibroblasts (CEFs) with the aid of a recombinant baculovirus expressing a Flag epitope-tagged MDV1 US1 gene, under control of the SRα promoter (composed of the enhancer region of the simian virus 40 early promoter and the R region of the human T-cell leukaemia virus type 1 long terminal repeat). In CEF infected with the recombinant baculovirus, MDV1 ICP22 was specifically and efficiently expressed in the presence of n-butyric acid. The apparent Mr of the expressed protein was 30,000. Reporter gene assays revealed that MDV1 ICP22 by itself transactivated an MDV1 ICP27 promoter/reporter construct weakly but specifically, and furthermore, worked synergistically with MDV1 ICP4 to efficiently up-regulate the MDV1 ICP27 promoter. MDV1 ICP22 may be a regulatory protein that stimulates viral promoters in co-operation with other viral regulatory proteins such as MDV1 ICP4.
- Marek's disease virus