The entry of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) into biologically relevant epithelial and endothelial cells involves endocytosis followed by low-pH-dependent fusion. This entry pathway is facilitated by the HCMV UL128, UL130, and UL131 proteins, which form one or more complexes with the virion envelope glycoprotein gH/gL. gH/gL/UL128-131 complexes appear to be distinct from the gH/gL/gO complex, which likely facilitates entry into fibroblasts. In order to better understand the assembly and protein-protein interactions of gH/gL/ UL128-131 complexes, we generated HCMV mutants lacking UL128-131 proteins and nonreplicating adenovirus vectors expressing gH, gL, UL128, UL130, and UL131. Our results demonstrate that UL128, UL130, and UL131 can each independently assemble onto gH/gL scaffolds. However, the binding of individual UL128-131 proteins onto gH/gL can significantly affect the binding of other proteins; for example, UL128 increased the binding of both UL130 and UL131 to gH/gL. Direct interactions between gH/UL130, UL130/UL131, gL/UL128, and UL128/UL130 were also observed. The export of gH/gL complexes from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to the Golgi apparatus and cell surface was dramatically increased when all of UL128, UL130, and UL131 were coexpressed with gH/gL (with or without gO expression). Incorporation of gH/gL complexes into the virion envelope requires transport beyond the ER. Thus, we concluded that UL128, UL130, and UL131 must all bind simultaneously onto gH/gL for the production of complexes that can function in entry into epithelial and endothelial cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science