Herpes simplex virus DNA polymerase as the site of phosphonoacetate sensitivity: temperature-sensitive mutants

J Virol. 1977 Nov;24(2):470-7. doi: 10.1128/JVI.24.2.470-477.1977.


Temperature-sensitive (ts) mutants in a number of complementation groups of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) are deficient in DNA polymerase induction at the restrictive temperature. Twenty-two mutants in 15 complementation groups were tested for sensitivity to phosphonoacetate (PAA), a compound that inhibits HSV replication in vivo and the DNA polymerase in vitro. One mutant, tsD9, was resistant to PAA (Pr), whereas all others were sensitive. Revertants of tsD9 to the ts+ phenotype simultaneously lost PAA resistance. Additional Pr mutants were isolated from ts mutants belonging to several complementation groups of HSV-1. Double mutants (ts Pr phenotype) were used in three-factor recombination analyses to locate the PAA locus on the genetic map at a position indistinguishable from the ts lesion in tsD9. In all cases, resistance or sensitivity to PAA in vivo was correlated with resistance or sensitivity of DNA polymerase in vitro. These data are compatible with the temperature-sensitive lesion of tsD9 and the determinant of PAA sensitivity both residing in the structural gene for DNA polymerase.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / biosynthesis
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase / metabolism*
  • Enzyme Induction
  • Genes*
  • Genes, Viral*
  • Genetic Complementation Test
  • Mutation
  • Organophosphorus Compounds / pharmacology*
  • Phosphonoacetic Acid / pharmacology*
  • Recombination, Genetic
  • Simplexvirus / enzymology
  • Simplexvirus / genetics*
  • Temperature


  • Organophosphorus Compounds
  • DNA-Directed DNA Polymerase
  • Phosphonoacetic Acid