US3 protein kinase of herpes simplex virus type 2 plays a role in protecting corneal epithelial cells from apoptosis in infected mice

J Gen Virol. 1999 Jan;80 ( Pt 1):51-56. doi: 10.1099/0022-1317-80-1-51.


To clarify the biological role of US3 protein kinase of herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) in vivo, the expression of the viral antigen, the appearance of apoptotic bodies and DNA fragmentation were examined immunohistologically after corneal infection of mice with three different kinds of HSV-2 strain 186: the wild-type virus, a US3-deficient mutant (L1BR1) and its revertant (L1B-11). In both wild-type 186- and L1B-11-infected mice, viral antigen was diffusely found in the corneal epithelium; no apoptotic changes were detected in the epithelial cells. Whereas, in L1BR1-infected mice, HSV-immunoreactivity was localized around the virus-inoculated sites, and a large number of apoptotic bodies were observed in the corneal epithelium with dual-positive reactions for both HSV-immunostaining and TUNEL staining. These results suggest that the US3 protein kinase plays an important role in protecting HSV-2-infected cells from apoptotic death in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Epithelial Cells / cytology
  • Epithelium, Corneal / cytology
  • Epithelium, Corneal / immunology
  • Herpes Genitalis / immunology
  • Herpes Genitalis / pathology
  • Herpes Genitalis / virology
  • Herpesvirus 2, Human / enzymology*
  • Herpesvirus 2, Human / genetics
  • Herpesvirus 2, Human / immunology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Mutagenesis
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / genetics
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / immunology
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases / physiology*
  • Rabbits
  • Viral Proteins


  • Viral Proteins
  • Protein-Serine-Threonine Kinases
  • US3 protein, Human herpesvirus 2