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We cloned the gene specified by African monkey kidney cells (Vero) that codes for the homolog of the herpes virus entry mediator (HveA) specified by HeLa cells. The primary sequence of the monkey HveA (HveAs) differed significantly from HveA. Single amino acid differences were distributed throughout the amino and carboxyl terminal portions of the HveAs in comparison with the HveA, whereas certain regions were highly conserved. The predicted membrane spanning domains of the two receptors differed substantially due to insertions and deletions of short amino acid sequences. The ability of HveAs to mediate HSV virus entry was tested in a series of experiments using the recombinant virus KOS/EGFP, which constitutively expressed the enhanced green fluorescence protein (EGFP) and Chinese hamster ovary cells (CHO) transformed with the HveAs gene. The KOS/EGFP virus was constructed by inserting an EGFP gene cassette within the intergenic region between the UL53 (gK) and UL54 (ICP27) genes. The KOS/EGFP virus formed viral plaques and replicated as well as the wild-type KOS virus. HveAs-transformed CHO cells constitutively expressing HveAs mediated herpesvirus entry efficiently, whereas cells transformed with the HveAs gene in the noncoding orientation did not mediate virus entry. A genetically engineered protein composed of the amino-terminal portion of the HveAs protein fused to the heavy chain of mouse IgG immunoglobulin as well as mouse antibodies raised against HveAs blocked virus entry into HveAs-transformed CHO cells. Thus, HveAs is the functional homolog of HveA.

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