Synthesis of Proteins and Glycoproteins in Cells Infected with Human Cytomegalovirus

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Synthesis of Proteins and Glycoproteins in Cells Infected with Human Cytomegalovirus

Publication Date
Sep 01, 1977
  • Biology


In cytomegalovirus-infected cells, the rate of protein synthesis was detected as two peaks. One occurred during the early phase of infection, 0 to 36 h postinfection, and the other occurred during the late phase, after the initiation of viral DNA synthesis. Double-isotopic-label difference analysis demonstrated that host and viral proteins were synthesized simultaneously during both phases. In the early phase, approximately 70 to 90% of the total proteins synthesized were host proteins, whereas approximately 10 to 30% were viral, even at a multiplicity of infection of 20 PFU/cell. Virus-related proteins or glycoproteins were referred to as infected-cell specific (ICS). Two ICS glycoproteins (gp145 and 100) were clearly detectable and were synthesized preferentially in the early phase of infection. Their synthesis was concomitant with stimulation of the protein synthesis rate. In the late phase of infection, approximately 50 to 60% of the total protein synthesis was viral and approximately 40 to 50% was host. The ICS proteins and glycoproteins detected during the late phase of infection were viral structural proteins. Infectious virus was not detectable until 48 to 72 h postinfection. An inhibitor of viral DNA synthesis, phosphonoacetic acid, prevented the appearance of the late-phase ICS proteins and glycoproteins, but there was little or no effect on early ICS glycoprotein synthesis. Radiolabeled ICS proteins and glycoproteins were identified by their relative rates of synthesis, by their different electrophoretic mobilities compared with those of host proteins and host glycoproteins, and by their similar electrophoretic mobilities compared to those of proteins and glycoproteins associated with virions and dense bodies of cytomegalovirus. Structural viral antigens in the infected-cell extracts were removed by immunoprecipitation, using F(ab′)2 fragments of cytomegalovirus-specific antibodies, and identified as described above. The last two criteria were used to identify viral structural ICS proteins and glycoproteins. Although approximately 35 structural proteins were found to be associated with purified virions and dense bodies, the continued synthesis of host cell proteins complicated their identification in infected cells. Nevertheless, seven of the nine structural glycoproteins were identified as ICS glycoproteins.

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