Tegument proteins of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) are hypothesized to contain the functional information required for the budding or envelopment process proposed to occur at cytoplasmic compartments of the host cell. One of the most abundant tegument proteins of HSV-1 is the UL49 gene product, VP22, a 38-kDa protein of unknown function. To study its subcellular localization, a VP22-green fluorescent protein chimera was expressed in transfected human melanoma (A7) cells. In the absence of other HSV-1 proteins, VP22 localizes to acidic compartments of the cell that may include the trans-Golgi network (TGN), suggesting that this protein is membrane associated. Membrane pelleting and membrane flotation assays confirmed that VP22 partitions with the cellular membrane fraction. Through truncation mutagenesis, we determined that the membrane association of VP22 is a property attributed to amino acids 120 to 225 of this 301-amino-acid protein. The above results demonstrate that VP22 contains specific information required for targeting to membranes of acidic compartments of the cell which may be derived from the TGN, suggesting a potential role for VP22 during tegumentation and/or final envelopment.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science