Herpesvirus egress

Herpesvirus egress

Egress is the process by which new viral particles are produced and released from infected cells, which may result in disease in the infected host and virus transmission to new hosts. In herpesviruses, egress is a complex multistep process during which the capsids traverse multiple membranes to become mature infectious virions. The first step in this process is nuclear egress, during which capsids bud into the inner nuclear membrane (INM) to form the primary virions, followed by fusion of these virions with the outer nuclear membrane (ONM). As the result, un-enveloped capsids are released into the cytoplasm where they travel along microtubules to tubular vesicles thought to originate from intracellular membranes (TGN or early endosomes). At these sites, capsids acquire their lipid envelopes and the outer tegument proteins to become mature virions subsequently released into the extracellular milieu by exocytosis. We are studying the mechanism by which viral proteins enable the capsids to bud into the nuclear and cytoplasmic membrane and to traffic within the cytoplasm. We are also interested in how these viral proteins interact with the host proteins and membranes.