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Virus Res. 2009 Nov;145(2):173-86. doi: 10.1016/j.virusres.2009.07.007. Epub 2009 Jul 15.

Functional roles of the tegument proteins of herpes simplex virus type 1.

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Centre for Virus Research, The Westmead Millennium Institute, The University of Sydney and Westmead Hospital, Westmead, NSW 2145, Australia.


Herpes virions consist of four morphologically distinct structures, a DNA core, capsid, tegument, and envelope. Tegument occupies the space between the nucleocapsid (capsid containing DNA core) and the envelope. A combination of genetic, biochemical and proteomic analysis of alphaherpes virions suggest the tegument contains in the order of 20 viral proteins. Historically the tegument has been described as amorphous but increasing evidence suggests there is an ordered addition of tegument during assembly. This review highlights the diverse roles, in addition to structural, that tegument plays during herpes viral replication using as an example herpes simplex virus type 1. Such diverse roles include: capsid transport during entry and egress; targeting of the capsid to the nucleus; regulation of transcription, translation and apoptosis; DNA replication; immune modulation; cytoskeletal assembly; nuclear egress of capsid; and viral assembly and final egress.

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