The HCMV Assembly Compartment Is a Dynamic Golgi-Derived MTOC that Controls Nuclear Rotation and Virus Spread

Dean J. Procter, Avik Banerjee, Masatoshi Nukui, Kevin Kruse, Vadim Gaponenko, Eain A. Murphy, Yulia Komarova, Derek Walsh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), a leading cause of congenital birth defects, forms an unusual cytoplasmic virion maturation site termed the “assembly compartment” (AC). Here, we show that the AC also acts as a microtubule-organizing center (MTOC) wherein centrosome activity is suppressed and Golgi-based microtubule (MT) nucleation is enhanced. This involved viral manipulation of discrete functions of MT plus-end-binding (EB) proteins. In particular, EB3, but not EB1 or EB2, was recruited to the AC and was required to nucleate MTs that were rapidly acetylated. EB3-regulated acetylated MTs were necessary for nuclear rotation prior to cell migration, maintenance of AC structure, and optimal virus replication. Independently, a myristoylated peptide that blocked EB3-mediated enrichment of MT regulatory proteins at Golgi regions of the AC also suppressed acetylated MT formation, nuclear rotation, and infection. Thus, HCMV offers new insights into the regulation and functions of Golgi-derived MTs and the therapeutic potential of targeting EB3. Live-cell imaging reveals the dynamic nature of the human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) assembly compartment (AC), which acts as a Golgi-derived microtubule-organizing center. Specific recruitment of microtubule plus-end binding EB3 facilitates acetylated MT formation at the AC and nuclear rotation prior to cell migration. EB3 targeting with myristoylated peptides suppresses infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-100.e7
JournalDevelopmental Cell
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 9 2018


  • Golgi
  • acetylation
  • cell migration
  • cytomegalovirus
  • end-binding protein
  • microtubule organizing center
  • nuclear rotation
  • virus infection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology


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