Cytomegalovirus UL128 homolog mutants that form a pentameric complex produce virus with impaired epithelial and trophoblast cell tropism and altered pathogenicity in the guinea pig
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Guinea pig cytomegalovirus (GPCMV) encodes a homolog pentameric complex (PC) for specific cell tropism and congenital infection. In human cytomegalovirus, the PC is an important antibody neutralizing target and GPCMV studies will aid in the development of intervention strategies. Deletion mutants of the C-terminal domains of unique PC proteins (UL128, UL130 and UL131 homologs) were unable to form a PC in separate transient expression assays. Minor modifications to the UL128 homolog (GP129) C-terminal domain enabled PC formation but viruses encoding these mutants had altered tropism to renal and placental trophoblast cells. Mutation of the presumptive CC chemokine motif encoded by GP129 was investigated by alanine substitution of the CC motif (codons 26-27) and cysteines (codons 47 and 62). GP129 chemokine mutants formed PC but GP129 chemokine mutant viruses had reduced epitropism. A GP129 chemokine mutant virus pathogenicity study demonstrated reduced viral load to target organs but highly extended viremia.
author list (cited authors)
Coleman, S., Choi, K. Y., & McGregor, A.