Herpes simplex virus (HSV) and varicella zoster virus (VZV) rely on transport of virus particles in neuronal axons to spread from sites of viral latency in sensory ganglia to peripheral tissues then on to other hosts. This process of anterograde axonal transport involves kinesin motors that move virus particles rapidly along microtubules. α-herpesvirus anterograde transport has been extensively studied by characterizing the porcine pseudorabies virus (PRV) and HSV, with most studies focused on two membrane proteins: gE/gI and US9. It was reported that PRV and HSV US9 proteins bind to kinesin motors, promoting tethering of virus particles on the motors, and furthering anterograde transport within axons. Alternatively, other models have argued that HSV and PRV US9 and gE/gI function in the cytoplasm and not in neuronal axons. Specifically, HSV gE/gI and US9 mutants are defective in the assembly of virus particles in the cytoplasm of neurons and the subsequent sorting of virus particles to cell surfaces and into axons. However, PRV US9 and gE/gI mutants have not been characterized for these cytoplasmic defects. We examined neurons infected with PRV mutants, one lacking both gE/gI and US9 and the other lacking just US9, by electron microscopy. Both PRV mutants exhibited similar defects in virus assembly and cytoplasmic sorting of virus particles to cell surfaces. As well, the mutants exhibited reduced quantities of infectious virus in neurons and in cell culture supernatants. We concluded that PRV US9 primarily functions in neurons to promote cytoplasmic steps in anterograde transport.
|Original language||English (US)|
|State||Published - Jan 2023|
- anterograde transport
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases