Shared sequence characteristics identifiedin non-canonical rearrangements of HSV-1 genomes

Alina Shitrit, Valerya Nisnevich, Nofar Rozenshtein, Hila Kobo, Hoang Van Phan, Savaş Tay, Moriah Szpara, Matthew D. Weitzman, Nir Drayman, Oren Kobiler

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Genomic rearrangements contribute to the enhancement of genetic diversity in populations. However, non-canonical rearrangements (NCRs) such as deletions, insertions, and inversions have the potential to trigger genomic instability. In the case of DNA viruses, NCRs can lead to generation of defective viral genomes (DVGs). To study NCRs in herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) genomes, we enriched DVGs formation by undiluted serial passaging on various cell types. We found that viral passaging on cell type that enables more viral genomes to initiate replication induces higher amplitude and frequency of cyclic patterns associated with DVGs formation. Despite differencesin the rates of DVG accumulation, cell lines displayed comparable quantities of distinct NCRs, indicating that fluctuationscaused by DVGs may impose bottlenecks on population genetic diversity. These findingspropose additional roles for DVGs in modulating viral genetic diversity. Each cell type exhibited a unique population of NCRs, suggesting that NCRs accumulate in a cell type-specificmanner. Interestingly, we identifieda higher prevalence of short homologies and short reverse complementary in the parental sequences of NCR junction sites across all cell types. These shared sequence characteristics were also observed in NCRs identifiedin sequences obtained from clinical samples. The fundamental properties of HSV-1 NCR formation uncovered in this study may have broader implications for other DNA viruses.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology

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