Herpesviruses infect cells using the conserved core fusion machinery composed of glycoprotein B (gB) and gH/gL. The gH/gL complex plays an essential but still poorly characterized role in membrane fusion and cell tropism. Our previous studies demonstrated that the conserved disulfide bond (DB) C278/C335 in domain II (D-II) of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) gH has an epithelial cell-specific function, whereas the interface of D-II/D-III is involved in formation of the B cell entry complex by binding to gp42. To extend these studies, we compared gH of the alphaherpesvirus pseudorabies virus (PrV) with gH of the gammaherpesvirus EBV to identify functionally equivalent regions critical for gH function during entry. We identified several conserved amino acids surrounding the conserved DB that connects three central helices of D-III of PrV and EBV gH. The present study verified that the conserved DB and several contacting amino acids in D-III modulate cell surface expression and thereby contribute to gH function. In line with this finding, we found that DB C404/C439 and T401 are important for cell-to-cell spread and efficient entry of PrV. This parallel comparison between PrV and EBV gH function brings new insights into how gH structure impacts fusion function during herpesvirus entry.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science