A monoclonal antibody defines an antigen, p68, related to hsp70, which is located in nuclei of uninfected exponential cells. Nuclear p68 is released by DNase but not RNase treatment suggesting an association with DNA. Lytic productive infection of confluent quiescent BHK 21 cells with herpes simplex virus type-2 causes p68 to accumulate in nuclei. The effect is specific for HSV-2, and does not occur in HSV-1 infected cells. Maximum nuclear accumulation of p68 requires virus DNA synthesis although a significant accumulation occurs in the absence of such synthesis. It is suggested that the nuclear accumulation of p68 is an aspect of a cellular stress response to lytic infection with HSV-2.
Imperial Cancer Research Fund, Tumour Immunology Unit.