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33 Herpes Simplex Virus

Sandra K. Weller, Donald M. Coen


The herpesviridae are a large family of double-strand DNA viruses responsible for many human and veterinary diseases (Appendix, Table VI). Although members of this family differ in tissue tropism and many aspects of their interactions with their hosts, the mechanisms by which they replicate their DNA during lytic infection are for the most part conserved. The molecular mechanisms involved in herpesvirus DNA replication and its regulation are of interest for several reasons. Herpesviruses provide important models for the study of eukaryotic DNA replication. Many of the replication proteins encoded by herpesviruses represent functional analogs of the eukaryotic DNA replication machinery. In addition, viral enzymes involved in DNA replication have provided a rich store of useful targets for antiviral therapy against herpesviruses. Herpes simplex viruses 1 and 2 (HSV-1 and HSV-2) are the most extensively studied of all the herpesviruses, in part because they are most amenable to genetic and biochemical approaches. DNA replication by the other herpesviruses resembles that of HSV, although there are also many interesting differences. Because there is not enough space to discuss other herpesviruses, this chapter focuses primarily on DNA replication of HSV-1. Because this chapter is intended to augment the chapter on herpesvirus DNA replication written for the previous edition of DNA Replication in Eukaryotic Cells, material draws primarily from work published in the last 9 years. Topics covered in detail in the previous chapter will reference the previous chapter and other review articles.

The HSV genome is...

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