Herpesviruses morphogenesis occurs stepwise both temporally and spatially, beginning in the nucleus and concluding with the emergence of an extracellular virion. The mechanisms by which these viruses interact with and penetrate the nuclear envelope and subsequent compartments of the secretory pathway remain poorly defined. In this report, a conserved viral protein (VP1/2; pUL36) that directs cytoplasmic stages of egress is identified to have multiple isoforms. Of these, a novel truncated VP1/2 species translocates to the nucleus and assists the transfer of DNA-containing capsids to the cytoplasm. The capsids are handed off to full-length VP1/2, which replaces the nuclear isoform on the capsids and is required for the final cytoplasmic stages of viral particle maturation. These results document that distinct VP1/2 protein species serve as effectors of nuclear and cytoplasmic egress.
ASJC Scopus subject areas