Trafficking to the plasma membrane of the seven-transmembrane protein encoded by human herpesvirus 6 U51 gene involves a cell-specific function present in T lymphocytes

Laura Menotti, Prisco Mirandola, Massimo Locati, Gabriella Campadelli-Fiume

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The sequence of human herpesvirus 6 (HHV-6) U51 open reading frame predicts a protein of 301 amino acid residues with seven transmembrane domains. To identify and characterize U51, we derived antipeptide polyclonal antibodies and developed a transient expression assay. We ascertained that U51 was synthesized in cord blood mononuclear cells infected with either variant A- or variant B-HHV-6 and was transported to the surface of productively infected cells. When synthesized in transient expression systems, U51 intracellular trafficking was regulated in a cell-type-dependent fashion. In human monolayer HEK-293 and 143tk- cells, U51 accumulated predominantly in the endoplasmic reticulum and failed to be transported to the cell surface. In contrast, in T-lymphocytic cell lines J-Jhan, Molt-3, and Jurkat, U51 was successfully transported to the plasma membrane. We infer that transport of U51 to the cell surface requires a cell-specific function present in activated T lymphocytes and T-cell lines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-333
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1999


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology

Cite this