Bovine herpesvirus-1 (BoHV-1), a ubiquitous bovine pathogen, belongs to the alphaherpesvirus family. BoHV-1 mostly causes respiratory and genital infections in cattle. In multicellular organisms, apoptosis or programmed cell death plays a crucial role in the cellular host defense against infections. Apoptosis is triggered by various stimuli through activation of intrinsic or extrinsic pathways. The execution of apoptosis is mediated by caspases, a set of cysteine proteases. Viruses are major modulators of apoptotic responses. According to several studies BoHV-1, like other herpesviruses, encodes multiple pro-apoptotic and anti-apoptotic proteins during productive infection. This review comprises the current information on the molecular mechanisms of the effects of multiple BoHV-1 proteins on apoptosis during infection, with reference to similar or divergent strategies of related alphaherpesviruses.
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