The Relative Stability of Selected Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 mRNAs

Virus Res. 1991 Jul;20(2):121-32. doi: 10.1016/0168-1702(91)90104-4.


The relative stability of herpes simplex virus type 1 mRNAs was investigated by examination of the decay rates of selected viral transcripts. The synthesis of mRNA was inhibited by the addition of dactinomycin to HSV-1 infected cells, and the abundance of individual transcripts was determined at subsequent times by RNA blot hybridization. For two immediate-early mRNAs, those encoding the 110 and 63 kilodalton immediate-early proteins, RNA synthesis was inhibited at 3 h post-infection and mRNA half-lives of 5-7 h were found. Examination at 5 h post-infection of the early mRNA encoding thymidine kinase as well as the late mRNA encoding glycoprotein H revealed half-lives of 8-11 h. In contrast, at 12 h post-infection, the late mRNAs encoding the glycoproteins C, E, as well as H were found to have half-lives of 14-29 h. These findings suggest that the relative stability of viral mRNA increases late in infection and is dependent upon the time after infection rather than being strictly a property of the mRNA itself.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Half-Life
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism*
  • RNA, Viral / genetics
  • RNA, Viral / metabolism*
  • Simplexvirus / genetics
  • Simplexvirus / metabolism*
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Vero Cells


  • RNA, Messenger
  • RNA, Viral