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J Virol. 2009 May;83(10):4800-9. doi: 10.1128/JVI.02431-08. Epub 2009 Mar 11.

The U(L)31 and U(L)34 gene products of herpes simplex virus 1 are required for optimal localization of viral glycoproteins D and M to the inner nuclear membranes of infected cells.

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  • 1Department of Microbiology and Immunology, New York State College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14850, USA.


U(L)31 and U(L)34 of herpes simplex virus type 1 form a complex necessary for nucleocapsid budding at the inner nuclear membrane (INM). Previous examination by immunogold electron microscopy and electron tomography showed that pU(L)31, pU(L)34, and glycoproteins D and M are recruited to perinuclear virions and densely staining regions of the INM where nucleocapsids bud into the perinuclear space. We now show by quantitative immunogold electron microscopy coupled with analysis of variance that gD-specific immunoreactivity is significantly reduced at both the INM and outer nuclear membrane (ONM) of cells infected with a U(L)34 null virus. While the amount of gM associated with the nuclear membrane (NM) was only slightly (P = 0.027) reduced in cells infected with the U(L)34 null virus, enrichment of gM in the INM at the expense of that in the ONM was greatly dependent on U(L)34 (P < 0.0001). pU(L)34 also interacted directly or indirectly with immature forms of gD (species expected to reside in the endoplasmic reticulum or nuclear membrane) in lysates of infected cells and with the cytosolic tail of gD fused to glutathione S-transferase in rabbit reticulocyte lysates, suggesting a role for the pU(L)34/gD interaction in recruiting gD to the NM. The effects of U(L)34 on gD and gM localization were not a consequence of decreased total expression of gD and gM, as determined by flow cytometry. Separately, pU(L)31 was dispensable for targeting gD and gM to the two leaflets of the NM but was required for (i) the proper INM-versus-ONM ratio of gD and gM in infected cells and (ii) the presence of electron-dense regions in the INM, representing nucleocapsid budding sites. We conclude that in addition to their roles in nucleocapsid envelopment and lamina alteration, U(L)31 and U(L)34 play separate but related roles in recruiting appropriate components to nucleocapsid budding sites at the INM.

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