Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 22674981
J. Virol. 2012 Aug;86(16):8592-601
Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) is a human pathogen that leads to recurrent facial-oral lesions. Its 152-kb genome is organized in two covalently linked segments, each composed of a unique sequence flanked by inverted repeats. Replication of the HSV-1 genome produces concatemeric molecules in which homologous recombination events occur between the inverted repeats. This mechanism leads to four genome isomers (termed P, IS, IL, and ILS) that differ in the relative orientations of their unique fragments. Molecular combing analysis was performed on DNA extracted from viral particles and BSR, Vero, COS-7, and Neuro-2a cells infected with either strain SC16 or KOS of HSV-1, as well as from tissues of experimentally infected mice. Using fluorescence hybridization, isomers were repeatedly detected and distinguished and were accompanied by a large proportion of noncanonical forms (40%). In both cell and viral-particle extracts, the distributions of the four isomers were statistically equivalent, except for strain KOS grown in Vero and Neuro-2a cells, in which P and IS isomers were significantly overrepresented. In infected cell extracts, concatemeric molecules as long as 10 genome equivalents were detected, among which, strikingly, the isomer distributions were equivalent, suggesting that any such imbalance may occur during encapsidation. In vivo, for strain KOS-infected trigeminal ganglia, an unbalanced distribution distinct from the one in vitro was observed, along with a considerable proportion of noncanonical assortment.