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PLoS One. 2013 Dec 30;8(12):e83842. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0083842. eCollection 2013.

Proteomic characterization of murid herpesvirus 4 extracellular virions.

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Department of Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Liège, Liège, Belgium.
Department of Proteomics and Microbiology, Research Institute for Biosciences Interdisciplinary Mass Spectrometry Center (CISMa), University of Mons, Mons, Belgium.
Electron Microscopy Unit, Veterinary and Agrochemical Research Centre, Brussels, Belgium.


Gammaherpesvirinae, such as the human Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and the Kaposi's sarcoma associated herpesvirus (KSHV) are highly prevalent pathogens that have been associated with several neoplastic diseases. As EBV and KSHV are host-range specific and replicate poorly in vitro, animal counterparts such as Murid herpesvirus-4 (MuHV-4) have been widely used as models. In this study, we used MuHV-4 in order to improve the knowledge about proteins that compose gammaherpesviruses virions. To this end, MuHV-4 extracellular virions were isolated and structural proteins were identified using liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry-based proteomic approaches. These analyses allowed the identification of 31 structural proteins encoded by the MuHV-4 genome which were classified as capsid (8), envelope (9), tegument (13) and unclassified (1) structural proteins. In addition, we estimated the relative abundance of the identified proteins in MuHV-4 virions by using exponentially modified protein abundance index analyses. In parallel, several host proteins were found in purified MuHV-4 virions including Annexin A2. Although Annexin A2 has previously been detected in different virions from various families, its role in the virion remains controversial. Interestingly, despite its relatively high abundance in virions, Annexin A2 was not essential for the growth of MuHV-4 in vitro. Altogether, these results extend previous work aimed at determining the composition of gammaherpesvirus virions and provide novel insights for understanding MuHV-4 biology.

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