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Vet Microbiol. 2006 Mar 31;113(3-4):163-9. Epub 2005 Dec 5.

Intriguing interplay between viral proteins during herpesvirus assembly or: the herpesvirus assembly puzzle.

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Institute of Molecular Biology, Friedrich-Loeffler-Institut, Insel Riems, Germany.


Herpes virions are complex particles that consist of more than 30 different virally encoded proteins. The molecular basis of how this complicated structure is assembled is only recently beginning to emerge. After replication in the host cell nucleus viral DNA is incorporated into preformed capsids which leave the nucleus by budding at the inner nuclear membrane resulting in the formation of primary enveloped virions in the perinuclear space. The primary envelope then fuses with the outer leaflet of the nuclear membrane, thereby releasing nucleocapsids into the cytoplasm. Final envelopment including the acquisition of more than 15 tegument and more than 10 envelope (glyco)proteins occurs by budding into Golgi-derived vesicles. Mature virions are released after fusion of the vesicle membrane with the plasma membrane of the cell. Thus, herpesvirus morphogenesis requires a sequence of envelopment--de-envelopment--re-envelopment processes which are distinct not only in the subcellular compartments in which they occur but also in the viral proteins involved. This review summarizes recent advances in our understanding of the complex protein-protein interactions involved in herpesvirus assembly and egress.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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