Mutagenesis of the VP16 protein of the Herpes Simplex Virus
The herpes simplex virus (HSV-1) encodes a trans-activator protein VP16. VP16 activates the immediate early genes (IE) of the viral genome during lytic infection. VP16 has been heavily studied by mutational analysis as a model for transcriptional activation. The goal of this project was to examine two specific aspects of VP16. First, to compare the properties of a previously constructed insertion mutant, in1814, to other mutant strains constructed in our laboratory; this insertion was moved from strain 17 of HSV-1 into the KOS strain, the strain used in our lab. The second aspect of this examination is a mutational analysis of a possible cryptic N-terminal activation domain. To assess whether this region contributes to transcriptional activation of the IE genes, deletion mutants were constructed in the N terminus of VP16, with or without the deletion of the Cterminal activation domain. The constructed viruses will be verified for the proper mutations, before the properties of these viruses are characterized.