To characterize human herpesvirus 8 (HHV-8) gB, the open reading frame was PCR amplified from the HHV-8-infected cell line BCBL-1 and cloned into an expression vector. To facilitate detection of expressed HHV-8 gB, the cytoplasmic tail of the glycoprotein was tagged with the influenza hemagglutinin (HA) epitope. Expression of tagged HHV-8 gB (gB-HA), as well as the untagged form, was readily detected in CHO-K1 cells and several lymphoblastoid cell lines (LCLs). HHV-8 gB-HA was sensitive to endoglycosidase H treatment, and immunofluorescence revealed that HHV-8 gB- HA was detectable in the perinuclear region of CHO-K1 cells. These observations suggest that HHV-8 gB is not processed in the Golgi and localizes to the endoplasmic reticulum or nuclear membrane. Because both HHV- 8 and EBV are γ-herpesviruses, the ability of HHV-8 gB to interact with and functionally complement EBV gp110 was examined. HHV-8 gB-HA and EBV gp110 co- immunoprecipitated, indicating formation of hetero-oligomers. However, HHV-8 gB-HA and HHV-8 gB failed to restore the infectivity of gp110-negative EBV mutants. These findings indicate that although HHV-8 gB and EBV gp110 have similar patterns of intracellular localization and can interact, there is not sufficient functional homology to allow efficient complementation.
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