Viral-encoded small RNAs in herpes virus saimiri induced tumors.

S. Murthy, J. Kamine, R. C. Desrosiers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Scopus citations


DNA sequences from the left terminus of herpes virus saimiri L-DNA are essential for the oncogenic and transforming potential of the virus, but these sequences are not required for replication. RNA derived from 0.0 to 6.7 map units (7.4 kbp) on the herpes virus saimiri genome was studied by Northern blot hybridization and by nuclease protection analyses. Although several poly(A)-containing RNAs were detected from this region in permissively-infected monolayer cells in vitro, these RNAs could not be detected in cells taken directly from viral-induced lymphomas nor in the lymphoblastoid tumor cell line 1670. Instead, these transformed T-cells expressed four small RNAs of approximately 73, 105, 110 and 135 nt derived from this region. These small RNAs were not detected at all during the course of lytic infection of monolayer cells. Thus, synthesis of these RNAs is stringently regulated in a cell-type specific manner. Genomic coding sequences for each of these small RNAs were mapped to 0.5-1.2 kbp DNA fragments stretched over 4.3 kbp of viral genetic information. These findings together with the biological properties of mutants with deletions in this region have led us to speculate that one or more of these small RNAs play an essential role in cell growth transformation by herpes virus saimiri.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1625-1632
Number of pages8
JournalThe EMBO journal
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 1986
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)


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