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J Virol. 2001 Feb;75(4):1928-40.

Cytoplasmic domain of herpes simplex virus gE causes accumulation in the trans-Golgi network, a site of virus envelopment and sorting of virions to cell junctions.

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Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, Oregon 97201, USA.


Alphaherpesviruses express a heterodimeric glycoprotein, gE/gI, that facilitates cell-to-cell spread between epithelial cells and neurons. Herpes simplex virus (HSV) gE/gI accumulates at junctions formed between polarized epithelial cells at late times of infection. However, at earlier times after HSV infection, or when gE/gI is expressed using virus vectors, the glycoprotein localizes to the trans-Golgi network (TGN). The cytoplasmic (CT) domains of gE and gI contain numerous TGN and endosomal sorting motifs and are essential for epithelial cell-to-cell spread. Here, we swapped the CT domains of HSV gE and gI onto another HSV glycoprotein, gD. When the gD-gI(CT) chimeric protein was expressed using a replication-defective adenovirus (Ad) vector, the protein was found on both the apical and basolateral surfaces of epithelial cells, as was gD. By contrast, the gD-gE(CT) chimeric protein, gE/gI, and gE, when expressed by using Ad vectors, localized exclusively to the TGN. However, gD-gE(CT), gE/gI, and TGN46, a cellular TGN protein, became redistributed largely to lateral surfaces and cell junctions during intermediate to late stages of HSV infection. Strikingly, gE and TGN46 remained sequestered in the TGN when cells were infected with a gI(-)HSV mutant. The redistribution of gE/gI to lateral cell surfaces did not involve widespread HSV inhibition of endocytosis because the transferrin receptor and gE were both internalized from the cell surface. Thus, gE/gI accumulates in the TGN in early phases of HSV infection then moves to lateral surfaces, to cell junctions, at late stages of infection, coincident with the redistribution of a TGN marker. These results are related to recent observations that gE/gI participates in the envelopment of nucleocapsids into cytoplasmic vesicles (A. R. Brack, B. G. Klupp, H. Granzow, R. Tirabassi, L. W. Enquist, and T. C. Mettenleiter, J. Virol. 74:4004-4016, 2000) and that gE/gI can sort nascent virions from cytoplasmic vesicles specifically to the lateral surfaces of epithelial cells (D. C. Johnson, M. Webb, T. W. Wisner, and C. Brunetti, J. Virol. 75:821-833, 2000). Therefore, gE/gI localizes to the TGN, through interactions between the CT domain of gE and cellular sorting machinery, and then participates in envelopment of cytosolic nucleocapsids there. Nascent virions are then sorted from the TGN to cell junctions.

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