Thymidine kinase deficient human cells have increased UV sensitivity in their capacity to support herpes simplex virus but normal UV sensitivity for colony formation
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A thymidine kinase deficient (tk-) and two thymidine kinase proficient (tk+) human cell lines were compared for UV sensitivity using colony-forming ability as well as their capacity to support the plaque formation of herpes simplex type 1 (HSV-1). The tk- line (143 cells) was a derivative of one of the tk+ lines (R970-5), whereas the other tk+ line (AC4 cells) was a derivative of the 143 cells obtained by transfection with purified sheared HSV-2 DNA encoding the viral tk gene. 143, R970-5 and AC4 cells showed a similar UV sensitivity for colony-forming ability. In contrast, the capacity to support HSV-1 plaque formation immediately (within 1 h) after UV-irradiation was reduced to a greater extent in the 143 cells compared to the R970-5 and AC4 cells. Capacity curves for plaque formation of the HSV-1: KOS wild-type (tk+) strain were similar to those for the HSV-1: PTK3B mutant (tk-) strain in the 3 cell strains, indicating that the viral tk gene does not influence the ability of HSV-1 to form plaques in UV-irradiated compared to unirradiated human cells. Cellular capacity for HSV-1 plaque formation was found to recover in both tk- and tk+ cells for cultures infected 24 h after UV-irradiation. These results suggest that repair of UV-damaged DNA takes place to a similar extent in both tk- and tk+ human cells, but the kinetics of repair are initially slower in tk- compared to tk+ human cells.
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