Reddehase, Matthias J.; Fibi, Mathias R.; Keil, Günther M.; Koszinowski, Ulrich H.
Late-phase expression of a murine cytomegalovirus immediate-early antigen recognized by cytolytic T lymphocytes.
In: Journal of Virology, Vol. 60: pp. 1125-1129
The cloned murine cytolytic T-lymphocyte line IE1-IL and several sublines detect a murine cytomegalovirus immediate-early (IE) membrane determinant in conjunction with Ld class I major histocompatibility glycoprotein. The lines retained cytolytic activity, strict antigen specificity, and self-restriction even when adapted to long-term, antigen-independent growth in the presence of interleukin-2 only (M. J. Reddehase, H.-J. Bühring, and U. H. Koszinowski, J. Virol. 57:408-412). These attributes allowed us to use IE1-IL as a stable, monospecific probe for tracing the expression of the IE membrane antigen throughout the viral replication cycle. Presentation of the antigen at the cell membrane proved to be most effective when expression of IE genes in infected mouse embryo fibroblasts was selectively enhanced by consecutive cycloheximide-actinomycin D treatment, whereas without enhancement high numbers of IE1-IL cytolytic T lymphocytes were required to demonstrate the antigen in the IE phase. In the early phase of infection when IE genes were no longer transcribed, cytolysis was not observed, although IE proteins were detectable in the nuclei of the infected cells. Without application of inhibitors IE membrane antigen expression was most prominent during the late phase of infection. Reinitiation of transcription from the genomic region encoding the major IE protein (pp89) and de novo synthesis of pp89 correlated with this reexpression of the IE membrane antigen.