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J Virol. 2009 Jul;83(13):6610-23. doi: 10.1128/JVI.02655-08. Epub 2009 Apr 22.

Herpesvirus capsid association with the nuclear pore complex and viral DNA release involve the nucleoporin CAN/Nup214 and the capsid protein pUL25.

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MRC Virology Unit, Church Street, Glasgow G11 5JR, United Kingdom.


After penetrating the host cell, the herpesvirus capsid is transported to the nucleus along the microtubule network and docks to the nuclear pore complex before releasing the viral DNA into the nucleus. The viral and cellular interactions involved in the docking process are poorly characterized. However, the minor capsid protein pUL25 has recently been reported to be involved in viral DNA uncoating. Here we show that herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) capsids interact with the nucleoporin CAN/Nup214 in infected cells and that RNA silencing of CAN/Nup214 delays the onset of viral DNA replication in the nucleus. We also show that pUL25 interacts with CAN/Nup214 and another nucleoporin, hCG1, and binds to the pUL36 and pUL6 proteins, two other components of the herpesvirus particle that are known to be important for the initiation of infection and viral DNA release. These results identify CAN/Nup214 as being a nuclear receptor for the herpesvirus capsid and pUL25 as being an interface between incoming capsids and the nuclear pore complex and as being a triggering element for viral DNA release into the nucleus.

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