The assembly of the tegument of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) is a complex process that involves a number of events at various sites within virus-infected cells. Our studies focused on determining whether tegument proteins, VP1/2 and UL37, are added to capsids located within the nucleus. Capsids were isolated from the nuclear fraction of HSV-1-infected cells and purified by rate-zonal centrifugation to separate B capsids (containing the scaffold proteins and no viral DNA) and C capsids (containing DNA and no scaffold proteins). Western blot analyses of these capsids indicated that VP1/2 associated primarily with C capsids and UL37 associated with B and C capsids. The results demonstrate that at least two of the tegument proteins of HSV-1 are associated with capsids isolated from the nuclear fraction, and these capsid-tegument protein interactions may represent initial events of the tegumentation process.
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