Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), a ubiquitous human pathogen, is the leading cause of birth defects in newborns. A region (referred to as UL/b′) present in the Toledo strain of HCMV and low-passage clinical isolates) contains 22 additional genes, which are absent in the highly passaged laboratory strain AD169. One of these genes, UL145 open reading frame (ORF), is located between the highly variable genes UL144 and UL146. To assess the structure of the UL145 gene, the UL145 ORF was amplified by PCR and sequenced from 16 low-passage clinical isolates and 15 non-passage strains from suspected congenitally infected infants. Nine UL145 sequences previously published in the GenBank were used for sequence comparison. The identities of the gene and the similarities of its putative protein among all strains were 95.9–100% and 96.6–100%, respectively. The post-translational modification motifs of the UL145 putative protein in clinical strains were conserved, comprising the protein kinase C phosphorylation motif (PKC) and casein kinase II phosphorylation site (CK-II). We conclude that the structure of the UL145 gene and its putative protein are relatively conserved among clinical strains, irrespective of whether the strains come from patients with different manifestations, from different areas of the world, or were passaged or not in human embryonic lung fibroblast (HELF) cells.
Volume 44 | Issue 5
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