We have partially purified suid pseudorabies virus (PRV) thymidine kinase from infected thymidine kinase- mouse cells, and cytosolic swine thymidine kinase from lymphatic glands, and we have found that PRV thymidine kinase, unlike the host enzyme, shows no stereospecificity for D- and L-beta-nucleosides. In vitro, unnatural L-enantiomers, except L-deoxycytidine, function as specific inhibitors for the viral enzyme in the order: L-thymidine >> L-deoxyguanosine > L-deoxyuridine > L-deoxyadenosine. Contrary to human and swine thymidine kinases and like herpes simplex virus-1 and -2 thymidine kinases, PRV thymidine kinase phosphorylates both the natural (D-) and the unnatural (L-) thymidine enantiomers to their corresponding monophosphates with comparable efficiency. The kinetic parameters Vmax/Km for D- and L-thymidine are 3.7 and 2.3 respectively. Our results demonstrate that the lack of stereospecificity might be a common feature of the thymidine kinases that are encoded by human and animal herpes viruses. These observations could lead to the development of a novel class of antiviral drugs.
We have purified Herpes simplex type 1 (HSV1) uracil-DNA glycosylase from the nuclei of HSV1-infected HeLa cells harvested 8 h post-infection, at which time the induction of the enzyme is a maximum. The enzyme has been shown to be distinct from the host enzyme, isolated from HeLa cells, by its lack of sensitivity to a monoclonal antibody to human uracil-DNA glycosylase. Furthermore, several uracil analogues were synthesized and screened for their capacity to discriminate between the viral and human uracil-DNA glycosylases. Both enzymes were inhibited by 6-(p-alkylanilino)uracils, but the viral enzyme was significantly more sensitive than the HeLa enzyme to most analogues. Substituents providing the best inhibitors of HSV1 uracil-DNA glycosylase were found to be in the order: p-n-butyl < p-n-pentl = p-n-hexyl < p-n-heptyl < p-n-octyl. The most potent HSV1 enzyme inhibitor, 6-(p-n-octylanilino)uracil (OctAU), with an IC50 of 8 microM, was highly selective for the viral enzyme. Short-term [3H]thymidine incorporation into the DNA of HeLa cells in culture was partially inhibited by OctAU, whereas it was unchanged when 6-(p-n-hexylanilino)uracil was present at concentrations that completely inhibited HSV1 uracil-DNA glycosylase activity. These compounds represent the first class of inhibitors that inhibit HSV1 uracil-DNA glycosylase at concentrations in the micromolar range. The results suggest their possible use to evaluate the functional role of HSV1 uracil-DNA glycosylase in viral infections and re-activation in nerve cells.
We have investigated the substrate specificity of human, viral and bacterial uracil-DNA glycosylases employing as substrate double-stranded oligonucleotides containing in the same position of the 5′-32P-labelled strand an uracil residue facing, on the complementary strand, guanine (mimicking cytosine deamination) or adenine (mimicking dUTP misincorporation). The enzyme removal of uracil was monitored and quantified by the generation of alkali-sensitive apyrimidinic sites. All three uracil-DNA glycosylases excise uracil from mispaired oligonucleotides (U/G) more efficiently than from paired oligonucleotides (U/A). The enzymes also remove uracil from single-stranded oligonucleotide with an efficiency similar to that observed with U/A paired oligonucleotide. The efficient recognition of U/G mispair by uracil-DNA glycosylase is important in minimizing miscoding transcripts and C/G-->T/A transitions in proliferating cells.