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Table 1 MDV genes and their respective products involved in immune modulation and pathogenesis

From: Marek’s disease in chickens: a review with focus on immunology

MDV gene (protein)


Antigenic potential

Infection stage


MDV003/078 (vIL-8)

Viral chemotactic (CXCL-) protein involved in recruiting immune systems cells to site of viral replication

Lytic replication

[23, 58]

MDV010 (vLIP)

Shares homology to host lipase enzyme and forms covalent bonds with lipids

Lytic replication



Immune evasion protein that down regulates cell surface MHC I expression

Lytic replication


MDV012 ORF012

Phosphoprotein required for viral growth both in vivo and in vitro



MDV040 (gB)

Hypothetical function: Virion membrane protein that heterodimerizes with other glycoproteins facilitating viral fusion with host membrane


Lytic replication

[26, 27]

MDV052/053 UL39/40 (RR)

Viral Ribonucleotide Reductase (RR) is essential for replication both in vivo and in vitro

Lytic replication


MDV064 (UL49.5)

Partially reduces MHC I expression by interacting with TAP protein

Lytic replication


MDV073 (pp38)

Early protein expressed during cytolytic infection and phosphorylated by Us3p


Lytic replication


MDV092 (Us3p)

Serine/threonine protein kinase that phosphorylates pp38

Lytic replication


MDV084/100 (ICP4)

Viral gene transactivation function


Lytic replication

[26, 27]

MDV001a (vTR)

Required for integration of viral genome into host DNA for immune evasion, neoplastic transformation and viraemia



MDV006 (pp14)

Neurovirulence factor required for PNS neuropathy (acute or transient paralysis)



MDV062 (VP22)

Tegument protein essential for viral replication and modulates host cell cycle



MDV057 (gC/UL44)

Type 1 transmembrane protein required for horizontal transmission/shedding from feather follicle epithelium

Feather follicle shedding


MDV005/076 (MEQ)

Viral oncogenic protein involved in T cell neoplastic transformation which forms homodimers and heterodimers with specific intracellular signalling proteins that modulates host cell cycle


Neoplastic transformation

[26, 27, 35]

MDV029 (pUL17)

Co-localizes with VP5 and VP13/14 tegument protein and essential for in vivo viral growth, capsid maturation and DNA packaging

Neoplastic transformation