Software Open Access
Since the genome of herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) was first sequenced more than 30 years ago, its predicted 80 genes have been intensively studied. Here, we unravel the complete viral transcriptome and translatome during lytic infection with base-pair resolution by computational integration of multi-omics data. We identified a total of 201 viral transcripts and 284 open reading frames (ORFs) including all known and 46 novel large ORFs. Multiple transcript isoforms expressed from individual gene loci explain translation of the vast majority of novel viral ORFs as well as N-terminal extensions (NTEs) and truncations thereof. We show that key viral regulators and structural proteins possess NTEs, which initiate from non-canonical start codons and govern subcellular protein localization and packaging. We validated a novel non-canonical large spliced ORF in the ICP0 locus and identified a 93 aa ORF overlapping ICP34.5 that is thus also deleted in the FDA-approved oncolytic virus Imlygic. Finally, we extend the current nomenclature to include all novel viral gene products.
To make the annotation and all the obtained data readily accessible to the research community, we here provide our HSV-1 genome browser software. Thereby, viral gene expression and all data can be visually examined from whole genome to single-nucleotide resolution.