Herpesvirus capsids collect along the inner surface of the nuclear envelope and bud into the perinuclear space. Enveloped virions then fuse with the outer nuclear membrane (NM). We previously showed that herpes simplex virus (HSV) glycoproteins gB and gH act in a redundant fashion to promote fusion between the virion envelope and the outer NM. HSV mutants lacking both gB and gH accumulate enveloped virions in herniations, vesicles that bulge into the nucleoplasm. Earlier studies had shown that HSV mutants lacking the viral serine/threonine kinase US3 also accumulate herniations. Here, we demonstrate that HSV gB is phosphory-lated in a US3-dependent manner in HSV-infected cells, especially in a crude nuclear fraction. Moreover, US3 directly phosphorylated the gB cytoplasmic (CT) domain in in vitro assays. Deletion of gB in the context of a US3-null virus did not add substantially to defects in nuclear egress. The majority of the US3-dependent phosphorylation of gB involved the CT domain and amino acid T887, a residue present in a motif similar to that recognized by US3 in other proteins. HSV recombinants lacking gH and expressing either gB substitution mutation T887A or a gB truncated at residue 886 displayed substantial defects in nuclear egress. We concluded that phosphorylation of the gB CT domain is important for gB-mediated fusion with the outer NM. This suggested a model in which the US3 kinase is incorporated into the tegument layer (between the capsid and envelope) in HSV virions present in the perinuclear space. By this packaging, US3 might be brought close to the gB CT tail, leading to phosphorylation and triggering fusion between the virion envelope and the outer NM.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science