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Traffic. 2012 Nov;13(11):1443-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0854.2012.01399.x. Epub 2012 Aug 6.

Herpesviruses exploit several host compartments for envelopment.

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Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, University of Montreal, Montreal, QC, Canada.


Enveloped viruses acquire their host-derived membrane at a variety of intracellular locations. Herpesviruses are complex entities that undergo several budding and fusion events during an infection. All members of this large family are believed to share a similar life cycle. However, they seemingly differ in terms of acquisition of their mature envelope. Herpes simplex virus is often believed to bud into an existing intracellular compartment, while the related cytomegalovirus may acquire its final envelope from a novel virus-induced assembly compartment. This review focuses on recent advances in the characterization of cellular compartment(s) potentially contributing to herpes virion final envelopment. It also examines the common points between seemingly distinct envelopment pathways and highlights the dynamic nature of intracellular compartments in the context of herpesvirus infections.

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