We have investigated the transcriptional activity of human cytomegalovirus, herpes thymidine kinase, human chorionic gonadotropin α, somatostatin, immunoglobulin κ chain, α crystallin, albumin and interferon-β promoters in the fission yeast Schizosaccharomyces pombe. Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV, the prototypic β-herpesvirus) has a genome that is significantly larger (>50 %) than that of the α-herpesvirus HSV-1. In US11+ cells, MHC class I molecules are core-glycosylated and therefore inserted into the ER. Compound 2 was inactive against HSV replication and the efficacy as an anti-HCMV agent at higher viral loads was only apparent if host cells were replicated in the presence of the compound prior to infection. The reduction on infectivity was observed even after virus pre-adsorption to cells suggesting that this action should occur after virus penetration, in the intracellular replication phase. Fibroblasts and T cells expressing both ICP47 and US11 were protected from CTL-mediated lysis and failed to stimulate specific memory T-cell responses to transgene products in vitro. “It is a particular problem if caught by a woman during pregnancy, a problem affecting about one to two babies in every 200 in the UK.
Thus, these two related herpesviruses drive diverse host cells to execute distinct, virus-specific metabolic programs.