Research on Herpes Virus Fusion and Entry

A special issue of Viruses (ISSN 1999-4915). This special issue belongs to the section "Human Virology and Viral Diseases".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 April 2024 | Viewed by 11727

Special Issue Editors

Department of Basic and Translational Sciences, School of Dental Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
Interests: herpes viruses; glycoproteins; entry; fusion; neutralization; monoclonal antibodies
Department of Basic and Translational Sciences, School of Dental Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA
Interests: herpes viruses

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Herpesviridae comprise a large family of enveloped DNA viruses with a unifying ability to establish a latent infection in their host. Though tropism differs, all herpesviruses have the same core fusion machinery that consists of three virus-encoded glycoproteins, gB and a heterodimer of gH and of gL. Studies of herpesviruses in each of the three subfamilies (i.e., alpha, beta, and gamma) have shown that each one embellishes on the core fusion machinery with additional proteins that may serve as receptor-binding proteins or are needed for entry into specific cell types. Solution of the structures of gB and gH/gL of herpes simplex virus, varicella zoster virus, Epstein-Barr virus, human cytomegalovirus and pseudorabies virus provided insight into the way these viral glycoproteins executed fusion of the viral and cellular membranes.

This Special Issue invites both updated reviews and original research articles on topics relating to the contribution of viral glycoproteins to signaling, penetration, fusion, immune escape, and vaccine development.

Dr. Doina Atanasiu
Dr. Tina M. Cairns
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • herpes virus
  • glycoproteins
  • virus entry
  • virus-cell fusion
  • membrane fusion
  • virus-cell interactions
  • receptor binding proteins
  • structure
  • neutralization

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

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17 pages, 3098 KiB  
Article
A Single Amino Acid Substitution in the Transmembrane Domain of Glycoprotein H Functionally Compensates for the Absence of gL in Pseudorabies Virus
by Melina Vallbracht, Marina Schnell, Annemarie Seyfarth, Walter Fuchs, Richard Küchler, Thomas C. Mettenleiter and Barbara G. Klupp
Viruses 2024, 16(1), 26; https://doi.org/10.3390/v16010026 - 22 Dec 2023
Viewed by 658
Abstract
Herpesvirus entry requires the coordinated action of at least four viral glycoproteins. Virus-specific binding to a cellular receptor triggers a membrane fusion cascade involving the conserved gH/gL complex and gB. Although gB is the genuine herpesvirus fusogen, it requires gH/gL for fusion, but [...] Read more.
Herpesvirus entry requires the coordinated action of at least four viral glycoproteins. Virus-specific binding to a cellular receptor triggers a membrane fusion cascade involving the conserved gH/gL complex and gB. Although gB is the genuine herpesvirus fusogen, it requires gH/gL for fusion, but how activation occurs is still unclear. To study the underlying mechanism, we used a gL-deleted pseudorabies virus (PrV) mutant characterized by its limited capability to directly infect neighboring cells that was exploited for several independent serial passages in cell culture. Unlike previous revertants that acquired mutations in the gL-binding N-terminus of gH, we obtained a variant, PrV-ΔgLPassV99, that unexpectedly contained two amino acid substitutions in the gH transmembrane domain (TMD). One of these mutations, I662S, was sufficient to compensate for gL function in virus entry and in in vitro cell–cell fusion assays in presence of wild type gB, but barely for cell-to-cell spread. Additional expression of receptor-binding PrV gD, which is dispensable for cell–cell fusion mediated by native gB, gH and gL, resulted in hyperfusion in combination with gH V99. Overall, our results uncover a yet-underestimated role of the gH TMD in fusion regulation, further shedding light on the complexity of herpesvirus fusion involving all structural domains of the conserved entry glycoproteins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Herpes Virus Fusion and Entry)
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17 pages, 4182 KiB  
Article
Receptor Binding-Induced Conformational Changes in Herpes Simplex Virus Glycoprotein D Permit Interaction with the gH/gL Complex to Activate Fusion
by Doina Atanasiu, Wan Ting Saw, Tina M. Cairns, Harvey M. Friedman, Roselyn J. Eisenberg and Gary H. Cohen
Viruses 2023, 15(4), 895; https://doi.org/10.3390/v15040895 - 30 Mar 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1610
Abstract
Herpes simplex virus (HSV) requires four essential virion glycoproteins—gD, gH, gL, and gB—for virus entry and cell fusion. To initiate fusion, the receptor binding protein gD interacts with one of two major cell receptors, HVEM or nectin-1. Once gD binds to a receptor, [...] Read more.
Herpes simplex virus (HSV) requires four essential virion glycoproteins—gD, gH, gL, and gB—for virus entry and cell fusion. To initiate fusion, the receptor binding protein gD interacts with one of two major cell receptors, HVEM or nectin-1. Once gD binds to a receptor, fusion is carried out by the gH/gL heterodimer and gB. A comparison of free and receptor-bound gD crystal structures revealed that receptor binding domains are located within residues in the N-terminus and core of gD. Problematically, the C-terminus lies across and occludes these binding sites. Consequentially, the C-terminus must relocate to allow for both receptor binding and the subsequent gD interaction with the regulatory complex gH/gL. We previously constructed a disulfide bonded (K190C/A277C) protein that locked the C-terminus to the gD core. Importantly, this mutant protein bound receptor but failed to trigger fusion, effectively separating receptor binding and gH/gL interaction. Here, we show that “unlocking” gD by reducing the disulfide bond restored not only gH/gL interaction but fusion activity as well, confirming the importance of C-terminal movement in triggering the fusion cascade. We characterize these changes, showing that the C-terminus region exposed by unlocking is: (1) a gH/gL binding site; (2) contains epitopes for a group (competition community) of monoclonal antibodies (Mabs) that block gH/gL binding to gD and cell–cell fusion. Here, we generated 14 mutations within the gD C-terminus to identify residues important for the interaction with gH/gL and the key conformational changes involved in fusion. As one example, we found that gD L268N was antigenically correct in that it bound most Mabs but was impaired in fusion, exhibited compromised binding of MC14 (a Mab that blocks both gD–gH/gL interaction and fusion), and failed to bind truncated gH/gL, all events that are associated with the inhibition of C-terminus movement. We conclude that, within the C-terminus, residue 268 is essential for gH/gL binding and induction of conformational changes and serves as a flexible inflection point in the critical movement of the gD C-terminus. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Herpes Virus Fusion and Entry)
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19 pages, 4719 KiB  
Article
Neutralizing Antibodies Limit Cell-Associated Spread of Human Cytomegalovirus in Epithelial Cells and Fibroblasts
by Nina Reuter, Barbara Kropff, William J. Britt, Michael Mach and Marco Thomas
Viruses 2022, 14(2), 284; https://doi.org/10.3390/v14020284 - 28 Jan 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2597
Abstract
Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) can cause severe clinical disease in immunocompromised individuals, such as allograft recipients and infants infected in utero. Neutralizing activity of antibodies, measured as the ability to prevent the entry of cell-free virus, has been correlated with the reduction in HCMV [...] Read more.
Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) can cause severe clinical disease in immunocompromised individuals, such as allograft recipients and infants infected in utero. Neutralizing activity of antibodies, measured as the ability to prevent the entry of cell-free virus, has been correlated with the reduction in HCMV transmission and the severity of HCMV-associated disease. However, in vivo HCMV amplification may occur mainly via cell-to-cell spread. Thus, quantifying the inhibition of cell-to-cell transmission could be important in the evaluation of therapeutic antibodies and/or humoral responses to infection or immunization. Here, we established a quantitative plaque reduction assay, which allowed for the measurement of the capacity of antibodies to limit HCMV spread in vitro. Using an automated fluorescence spot reader, infection progression was assayed by the expansion of viral plaques during the course of infection with various GFP-expressing viruses. We found that in contrast to non-neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), neutralizing mAbs against both glycoprotein B and H (gB and gH) could significantly inhibit viral plaque expansion of different HCMV strains and was equally efficient in fibroblasts as in epithelial cells. In contrast, an anti-pentamer mAb was active only in epithelial cells. Taken together, our data demonstrate that specific anti-HCMV mAbs can significantly limit cell-associated virus spread in vitro. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Herpes Virus Fusion and Entry)
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16 pages, 2748 KiB  
Article
Suppression of DC-SIGN and gH Reveals Complex, Subset-Specific Mechanisms for KSHV Entry in Primary B Lymphocytes
by Nancy Palmerin, Farizeh Aalam, Romina Nabiee, Murali Muniraju, Javier Gordon Ogembo and Jennifer Totonchy
Viruses 2021, 13(8), 1512; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13081512 - 31 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2175
Abstract
Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is the causative agent of multiple cancers in immunocompromised patients including two lymphoproliferative disorders associated with KSHV infection of B lymphocytes. Despite many years of research into the pathogenesis of KSHV associated diseases, basic questions related to KSHV molecular [...] Read more.
Kaposi sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) is the causative agent of multiple cancers in immunocompromised patients including two lymphoproliferative disorders associated with KSHV infection of B lymphocytes. Despite many years of research into the pathogenesis of KSHV associated diseases, basic questions related to KSHV molecular virology remain unresolved. One such unresolved question is the cellular receptors and viral glycoproteins needed for KSHV entry into primary B lymphocytes. In this study, we assess the contributions of KSHV glycoprotein H (gH) and the cellular receptor DC-SIGN to KSHV infection in tonsil-derived B lymphocytes. Our results show that (1) neither KSHV-gH nor DC-SIGN are essential for entry into any B cell subset, (2) DC-SIGN does play a role in KSHV entry into tonsil-derived B cells, but in all B cell subtypes alternative entry mechanisms exist, (3) KSHV-gH can participate in KSHV entry into centrocytes via a DC-SIGN independent entry mechanism, and (4) in the absence of KSHV-gH, DC-SIGN is required for KSHV entry into centrocytes. Our results provide a first glimpse into the complexity of KSHV entry in the lymphocyte compartment and highlight that multiple subset-dependent entry mechanisms are employed by KSHV which depend upon multiple cellular receptors and multiple KSHV glycoproteins. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Herpes Virus Fusion and Entry)
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Review

Jump to: Research

18 pages, 721 KiB  
Review
Two Sides to Every Story: Herpes Simplex Type-1 Viral Glycoproteins gB, gD, gH/gL, gK, and Cellular Receptors Function as Key Players in Membrane Fusion
by Nithya Jambunathan, Carolyn M. Clark, Farhana Musarrat, Vladimir N. Chouljenko, Jared Rudd and Konstantin G. Kousoulas
Viruses 2021, 13(9), 1849; https://doi.org/10.3390/v13091849 - 16 Sep 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 4287
Abstract
Herpes simplex virus type-1 (HSV-1) and type-2 (HSV-2) are prototypical alphaherpesviruses that are characterized by their unique properties to infect trigeminal and dorsal root ganglionic neurons, respectively, and establish life-long latent infections. These viruses initially infect mucosal epithelial tissues and subsequently spread to [...] Read more.
Herpes simplex virus type-1 (HSV-1) and type-2 (HSV-2) are prototypical alphaherpesviruses that are characterized by their unique properties to infect trigeminal and dorsal root ganglionic neurons, respectively, and establish life-long latent infections. These viruses initially infect mucosal epithelial tissues and subsequently spread to neurons. They are associated with a significant disease spectrum, including orofacial and ocular infections for HSV-1 and genital and neonatal infections for HSV-2. Viral glycoproteins within the virion envelope bind to specific cellular receptors to mediate virus entry into cells. This is achieved by the fusion of the viral envelope with the plasma membrane. Similarly, viral glycoproteins expressed on cell surfaces mediate cell-to-cell fusion and facilitate virus spread. An interactive complex of viral glycoproteins gB, gD/gH/gL, and gK and other proteins mediate these membrane fusion phenomena with glycoprotein B (gB), the principal membrane fusogen. The requirement for the virion to enter neuronal axons suggests that the heterodimeric protein complex of gK and membrane protein UL20, found only in alphaherpesviruses, constitute a critical determinant for neuronal entry. This hypothesis was substantiated by the observation that a small deletion in the amino terminus of gK prevents entry into neuronal axons while allowing entry into other cells via endocytosis. Cellular receptors and receptor-mediated signaling synergize with the viral membrane fusion machinery to facilitate virus entry and intercellular spread. Unraveling the underlying interactions among viral glycoproteins, envelope proteins, and cellular receptors will provide new innovative approaches for antiviral therapy against herpesviruses and other neurotropic viruses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Research on Herpes Virus Fusion and Entry)
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