Characterization of the rhesus cytomegalovirus US28 locus

M. E T Penfold, T. L. Schmidt, D. J. Dairaghi, Peter A Barry, T. J. Schall

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39 Scopus citations


Human cytomegalovirus (CMV) US28 (and the related open reading frame [ORF] US27) are G-protein-coupled receptor homologs believed to play a role in viral pathogenesis. In vitro, US28 has been shown to bind and internalize ligands, as well as activate intracellular signaling in response to certain chemokines, and to initiate the migration of smooth muscle cells to chemokine gradients. To assess the role of US28 in vivo, we examined the rhesus model and sequenced and characterized the rhesus CMV US28 locus. We found that rhesus CMV carries five tandem homologs of US28, all widely divergent from US28 and from each other. By reverse transcription-PCR and Northern analysis, we demonstrated expression of these ORFs in infected cells. With stable cell lines expressing these ORFs, we analyzed the homolog's binding and signaling characteristics across a wide range of chemokines and found one (RhUS28.5) to have a ligand binding profile similar to that of US28. In addition, we localized US28 and the rhesus CMV homolog RhUS28.5 to the envelope of infectious virions, suggesting a role in viral entry or cell tropism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10404-10413
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number19
StatePublished - Oct 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology


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