Background: The genome of herpes simplex virus 1 encodes at least 84 transcripts from which proteins are translated and several additional RNAs whose status as mRNAs is unknown. These RNAs include latency-associated transcript, Ori S1 and OriS2 RNAs and in case of a4 null mutant additional transcript that spans the junction between L and S component of the HSV-1 genome. Current data do not suggest that a peptide is translated from these RNAs. Results: We describe here a novel RNA designated US5-1 that spans 4.5 kb of the unique-short (US) region. The RNA initiates in US5 and terminates in the a22 open reading frame. It is expressed antisense to US5, US4, US3 and ICP22 mRNAs. This transcript is expressed with γ2 kinetics and has a half-life of 80 minutes. Conclusion: These results identify a novel transcript encoded within HSV-1 genome. Since no major hypothetical open-reading frames are present in this transcript it is feasible that this RNA exerts its function as a non-coding RNA.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases