After DNA viruses enter the nucleus, they initiate a transcriptional cascade which is followed by replication. We investigated whether these processes take place at specific nuclear sites or, as suggested by the mode of entry, randomly throughout the nucleus. Three distinct nuclear domains, nuclear factor-1 sites, coiled bodies, and nuclear domain 10 (ND10), were used as markers to investigate the relative position of DNA virus replication sites. We found that all three nuclear domains had a very high spatial correlation with each other in uninfected cells. After adenoviral infection, nuclear factor 1 and coiled bodies were found associated with some viral replication domains. Simian virus 40 begins replication adjacent to ND10 but adenovirus 5 and herpes simplex type 1 modified ND10s before replication. Adenovirus E4orf 3 gene deletion mutants retain ND10 and begin replication at the peripheries of ND10. The same was found for the herpes simplex virus type 1 immediate early gene 1 mutants. That the deposition and replication of adenovirus 5 and herpesvirus type 1 at ND10 was not a mutant phenotype was confirmed by finding the input wild-type virus juxtaposed to ND10. The transport of viral genomes to ND10 does not require viral gene expression. Thus, the peripheries of ND10 represent preferred sites where early steps of transcription and replication of at least three DNA virus families take place, suggesting a new set of functional properties for this large nuclear domain.

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