Herpes simplex virus glycoproteins gB and gD function in a redundant fashion to promote secondary envelopment

David C. Johnson, Todd W. Wisner, Catherine C. Wright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Egress of herpes simplex virus (HSV) and other herpesviruses from cells involves extensive modification of cellular membranes and sequential envelopment and deenvelopment steps. HSV glycoproteins are important in these processes, and frequently two or more glycoproteins can largely suffice in any step. Capsids in the nucleus undergo primary envelopment at the inner nuclear membrane (INM), and then enveloped virus particles undergo deenvelopment by fusing with the outer nuclear membrane (ONM). Capsids delivered into the cytoplasm then undergo secondary envelopment, involving trans-Golgi network (TGN) membranes. The deenvelopment step involves HSV glycoproteins gB and gH/gL acting in a redundant fashion. This fusion has features common to the fusion that occurs between the virion envelope and cellular membranes when HSV enters cells, a process requiring gB, gD, and gH/gL. Whether HSV gD also participates (in a redundant fashion with gB or gH/gL) in deenvelopment has not been characterized. Secondary envelopment in the cytoplasm is known to involve HSV gD and gE/gI, also acting in a redundant fashion. Whether gB might also contribute to secondary envelopment, collaborating with gD and gE/gI, is also not clear. To address these questions, we constructed an HSV double mutant lacking gB and gD. The HSV gB -/gD - mutant exhibited no substantial defects in nuclear egress. In contrast, secondary envelopment was markedly reduced, and there were numerous unenveloped capsids that accumulated in the cytoplasm, as well as increased numbers of partially enveloped capsids and morphologically aberrant enveloped particles with thicker, oblong tegument layers. These defects were different from those observed with HSV gD -/gE/gI - mutants, which accumulated capsids in large, aggregated masses in the cytoplasm. Our results suggest that HSV gB functions in secondary envelopment, apparently acting downstream of gE/gI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4910-4926
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number10
StatePublished - May 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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