Murine gammaherpesvirus 68 encodes a functional regulator of complement activation

Sharookh B. Kapadia, Hector Molina, Victor Van Berkel, Samuel H. Speck, Herbert W. Virgin IV

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

81 Scopus citations


Sequence analysis of the murine gammaherpesvirus 68 (γHV68) genome revealed an open reading frame (gene 4) which is homologous to a family of proteins known as the regulators of complement activation (RCA proteins) (H. W. Virgin, P. Latreille, P. Wamsley, K. Hallsworth, K. E. Weck, A. J. Dal Canto, and S. H. Speck, J. Virol. 71:5894-5904, 1997). The predicted gene 4 product has homology to other virally encoded RCA homologs, as well as to the complement-regulatory proteins decay-accelerating factor and membrane cofactor protein. Analyses by Northern blotting and rapid amplification of cDNA ends revealed that gene 4 is transcribed as a 5.2-kb bicistronic transcript of the late kinetic class. Three γHV68 RCA protein isoforms (60 to 65 kDa, 50 to 55 kDa, and 40 to 45 kDa) were detected by Western blotting of infected murine NIH 3T12 fibroblast cells. A soluble 40- to 45-kDa isoform was detected in the supernatants of virally infected cells. Flow cytometric analysis revealed that the γHV68 RCA protein was expressed on the surfaces of infected cells. Supernatants from vitally infected cells contained an activity that inhibited murine complement activation as measured by inhibition of C3 deposition on activated zymosan particles. Recombinant γHV68 RCA protein, containing the four conserved short consensus repeats, inhibited murine C3 deposition on zymosan via both classical and alternative pathways and inhibited deposition of human C3 on activated zymosan particles. Expression of this inhibitor of complement activation, both at the cell surface and in the fluid phase, may he important for γHV68 pathogenesis via the inhibition of innate and adaptive immunity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7658-7670
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number9
StatePublished - 1999


Dive into the research topics of 'Murine gammaherpesvirus 68 encodes a functional regulator of complement activation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this