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Open Access Research

Murine gammaherpesvirus 68 glycoprotein 150 does not contribute to latency amplification in vivo

Romana Ruiss1, Shinji Ohno24, Beatrix Steer2, Reinhard Zeidler3 and Heiko Adler2*

Author Affiliations

1 Research Unit Gene Vectors, Helmholtz Zentrum München-German Research Center for Environmental Health, Munich, Germany

2 Institute of Molecular Immunology, Helmholtz Zentrum München-German Research Center for Environmental Health, Munich, Germany

3 Department of Otorhinolaryngology, Klinikum der Universität München, Munich, Germany

4 Present address: Department of Virology, Faculty of Medicine, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, 812-8582, Japan

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Virology Journal 2012, 9:107  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-9-107

Published: 9 June 2012

Abstract

Background

Murine gammaherpesvirus 68 (MHV-68) is used as a model to study the function of gammaherpesvirus glycoproteins. gp150 of MHV-68, encoded by open reading frame M7, is a positional homolog of gp350/220 of EBV and of gp35/37 of KSHV. Since it had been proposed that gp350/220 of EBV might be a suitable vaccine antigen to protect from EBV-associated diseases, gp150 has been applied as a model vaccine in the MHV-68 system. When analyzing the function of gp150, previous studies yielded conflicting results on the role of gp150 in latency amplification, and disparities between the mutant viruses which had been analyzed were blamed for the observed differences.

Results

To further develop MHV-68 as model to study the function of gammaherpesvirus glycoproteins in vivo, it is important to know whether gp150 contributes to latency amplification or not. Thus, we re-evaluated this question by testing a number of gp150 mutants side by side. Our results suggest that gp150 is dispensable for latency amplification. Furthermore, we investigated the effect of vaccination with gp150 using gp150-containing exosomes. Vaccination with gp150 induced a strong humoral and cellular immune response, yet it did not affect a subsequent MHV-68 challenge infection.

Conclusions

In this study, we found no evidence for a role of gp150 in latency amplification. The previously observed contradictory results on the role of gp150 in latency amplification were not related to differences between the mutant viruses which had been used.

Keywords:
MHV-68; gp150; Latency amplification; Vaccination; Exosomes