Synthesis of bovine growth hormone in primates by using a herpesvirus vector

R. C. Desrosiers, J. Kamine, A. Bakker, D. Silva, R. P. Woychik, D. D. Sakai, F. M. Rottman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


A strain of herpesvirus saimiri containing a bovine growth hormone (bGH) gene under the control of the simian virus 40 (SV40) late-region promoter was constructed. This strain, bGH-Z20, was replication competent and stably harbored the bGH gene upon serial passage. Nonpermissive marmoset T cells persistently infected with bGH-Z20 produced a 0.9-kilobase RNA which contained all of the bGH exon sequences and appeared to initiate within the SV40 promoter region. However, in permissively infected owl monkey kidney cells, RNAs containing growth hormone sequences appeared to initiate from herpesvirus saimiri promoters positioned upstream from the SV40-growth hormone gene. Persistently infected T cells in culture secreted 500 ng of bGH protein per 106 cells per 24 h during the several months of testing. The secreted protein was 21 kilodaltons, the size of authentic bGH. New World primates experimentally infected with bGH-Z20 produced circulating bGH and developed immunoglobulin G antibodies directed against bGH. Because herpesviruses characteristically remain latent in the infected host, these observations suggest a means for replacing gene products missing or defective in hereditary genetic disorders.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2796-2803
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular and cellular biology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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