A previous study using a mutant lacking the UL17 gene has suggested that the UL17 protein of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is required for the cleavage/packaging of viral DNA. In this study, we have raised a rabbit polyclonal antiserum which specifically reacted with the UL17 protein which has an apparent molecular mass of 78-kDa in the lysates of HSV types 1- and 2-infected Vero cells. Western blot analysis of intracellular capsids demonstrates that the UL17 protein was associated with B and C capsids. Indirect immunofluorescence studies reveal that it colocalized with the major capsid protein VP5 and the scaffoling protein ICP35 within the nucleus. These results suggest that the association of the UL17 protein with immature B-type capsids is important for its role in cleavage/packaging.
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