The incorporation of [32P]Pi and [3H]inositol into the inositol lipids of baby-hamster kidney cells was studied in herpes-simplex-virus-type-1(HSV-1)-infected and mock-infected cells. The infection was conducted during incorporation of, as well as after prelabelling with, the precursors. These methods were used in order to study both synthesis de novo of, and steady-state changes in, the phosphoinositides. Both with infection during labelling, and after prelabelling, we found increased [32P]- and [3H]-phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate (PIP2) and decreased [32P]- and [3H]-phosphatidylinositol 4-monophosphate in infected as compared with mock-infected cells, whereas no effect was observed on phosphatidylinositol. This altered inositol-lipid metabolism was (at least in the case of PIP2) not present until 3-6 h after infection and remained stable, or increased slightly, throughout the infection period. Polyphosphoinositide metabolism constitutes an important step in signal processing in many forms of cellular stimulation, and the results obtained suggest that HSV-1 infection may induce such events in our cell system.

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