Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) ORF32 encodes a phosphoprotein that is posttranslationally modified by the VZV ORF47 protein kinase. Academic Article uri icon


  • Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) encodes five gene products that do not have homologs in herpes simplex virus. One of these genes, VZV open reading frame 32 (ORF32), is predicted to encode a protein of 16 kDa. VZV ORF32 protein was shown to be phosphorylated and located in the cytosol of virus-infected cells. Antibody to ORF32 protein immunoprecipitated 16- and 18-kDa phosphoproteins from VZV-infected cells. Since VZV encodes two protein kinases that might phosphorylate ORF32 protein, immunoprecipitations were performed with cells infected with VZV mutants unable to express either of the viral protein kinases. Cells infected with VZV unable to express the ORF66 protein kinase contained both the 16- and 18-kDa ORF32 phosphoproteins; however, cells infected with the VZV ORF47 protein kinase mutant showed only the 16-kDa ORF32 phosphoprotein. Treatment of [35S]methionine-labeled proteins with calf intestine alkaline phosphatase resulted in a decrease in size of the ORF32 proteins from 16 and 18 kDa to 15 and 17 kDa, respectively. VZV unable to express ORF32 protein replicated in human melanoma cells to titers similar to those seen with parental virus; however, VZV unable to express ORF32 was impaired for replication in U20S osteosarcoma cells. Thus, VZV ORF32 protein is posttranslationally modified by the ORF47 protein kinase. Since the VZV ORF47 protein kinase has recently been shown to be critical for replication in human fetal skin and lymphocytes, its ability to modify the ORF32 protein suggests that the latter protein may have a role for VZV replication in human tissues.

published proceedings

  • J Virol

author list (cited authors)

  • Reddy, S. M., Cox, E., Iofin, I., Soong, W., & Cohen, J. I.

citation count

  • 31

complete list of authors

  • Reddy, SM||Cox, E||Iofin, I||Soong, W||Cohen, JI

publication date

  • October 1998