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Open Access Research

Characterization of the transcripts of human cytomegalovirus UL144

Rong He1, Yanping Ma2, Ying Qi2, Ning Wang2, Mali Li2, Yaohua Ji2, Zhengrong Sun2, Shujuan Jiang1 and Qiang Ruan2*

Author Affiliations

1 Clinical Genetics Department, The Affiliated Shengjing Hospital, China Medical University, 110004 Shenyang, Liaoning of China

2 Virus Laboratory, The Affiliated Shengjing Hospital, China Medical University, 110004 Shenyang, Liaoning of China

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Virology Journal 2011, 8:299  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-8-299

Published: 14 June 2011

Abstract

Background

The genome of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) has been studied extensively, particularly in the UL/b' region. In this study, transcripts of one of the UL/b' genes, UL144, were identified in 3 HCMV isolates obtained from urine samples of congenitally infected infants.

Methods

Northern blot hybridization, cDNA library screening, and RACE-PCR were used.

Results

We identified at least 4 differentially regulated 3'-coterminal transcripts of UL144 in infected cells of 1,300, 1,600, 1,700, and 3,500 nucleotides (nt). The 1600 nt transcript was the major form of UL144 mRNA. The largest transcript initiated from the region within the UL141 open reading frame (ORF) and included UL141, UL142, UL143, UL144, and UL145 ORFs.

Conclusions

These findings reveal the complex nature of the transcription of the UL144 gene in clinical isolates.

Keywords:
cytomegalovirus; transcription; UL144