Virology 2016 09 16499() 91-98 pii 10.1016/j.virol.2016.09.008
Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is implicated in the etiology of several human malignancies. KSHV open reading frame (orf) 35 encodes a conserved gammaherpesvirus protein with an, as yet, unknown function. Employing the bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) system, we generated a recombinant viral clone that fails to express ORF35 (BAC16-ORF35-stop) but preserves intact adjacent and overlapping reading frames. Using this construct, we studied the role of this previously uncharacterized gene product during lytic reactivation of KSHV. Upon lytic reactivation, the ORF35-stop recombinant virus displayed significantly reduced lytic viral gene expression, viral DNA replication, and progeny virus production as compared to control wild-type virus. Exogenous expression of ORF35-Flag reversed the effects of ORF35 deficiency. These results demonstrate that ORF35 is important for efficient lytic virus reactivation.