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Infected-cell protein 0 encoded by bovine herpesvirus 1 (BHV-1) (bICP0) is necessary for efficient productive infection, in large part, because it activates all 3 classes of BHV-1 genes (U. V. Wirth, C. Fraefel, B. Vogt, C. Vlcek, V. Paces, and M. Schwyzer, J. Virol. 66:2763–2772, 1992). Although bICP0 is believed to be a functional homologue of herpes simplex virus type 1-encoded ICP0, the only well-conserved domain between the proteins is a zinc ring finger located near the amino terminus of both proteins. Our previous studies demonstrated that bICP0 is toxic to transfected cells but does not appear to directly induce apoptosis (Inman, M., Y. Zhang, V. Geiser, and C. Jones, J. Gen. Virol. 82:483–492, 2001). C-terminal sequences in the last 320 amino acids of bICP0 mediate subcellular localization. Mutagenesis of the zinc ring finger within bICP0 revealed that this domain was important for transcriptional activation. In this study, we demonstrate that bICP0 interacts with histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1), which results in activation of a simple promoter containing four consensus Myc-Max binding sites. The interaction between bICP0 and HDAC1 correlated with inhibition of Mad-dependent transcriptional repression. In resting CV-1 cells, bICP0 relieved HDAC1-mediated transcriptional repression. The zinc ring finger was required for relieving HDAC1-induced repression but not for interacting with HDAC1. In fetal bovine lung cells but not in a human epithelial cell line, bICP0 expression correlated with reduced steadystate levels of HDAC1 in crude cytoplasmic extracts. We hypothesize that the ability of bICP0 to overcome HDAC1-induced repression plays a role in promoting productive infection in highly differentiated cell types.