Modified VP22 Localizes to the Cell Nucleus during Synchronized Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 Infection
Journal of Virology
The UL49 gene product (VP22) of herpes simplex virus types 1 and 2 (HSV-1 and HSV-2) is a virion phosphoprotein which accumulates inside infected cells at late stages of infection. We previously (J. A. Blaho, C. Mitchell, and B. Roizman, J. Biol. Chem. 269:17401–17410, 1994) discovered that the form of VP22 packaged into infectious virions differed from VP22 extracted from infected-cell nuclei in that the virion-associated form had a higher electrophoretic mobility in denaturing gels. Based on
... ing gels. Based on these results, we proposed that VP22 in virions was "undermodified" in some way. The goal of this study is to document the biological and biochemical properties of VP22 throughout the entire course of a productive HSV-1 infection. We now report the following. (i) VP22 found in infected cells is distributed in at least three distinct subcellular localizations, which we define as cytoplasmic, diffuse, and nuclear, as measured by indirect immunofluorescence. (ii) Using a synchronized infection system, we determined that VP22 exists predominantly in the cytoplasm early in infection and accumulates in the nucleus late in infection. (iii) While cytoplasmic VP22 colocalizes with the HSV-1 glycoprotein D early in infection, the nuclear form of VP22 is not restricted to replication compartments which accumulate ICP4. (iv) VP22 migrates as at least three unique electrophoretic species in denaturing sodium dodecyl sulfate-DATD-polyacrylamide gels. VP22a, VP22b, and VP22c have high, intermediate, and low mobility, respectively. (v) The relative distribution of the various forms of VP22 derived from infected whole-cell extracts varies during the course of infection such that low-mobility species predominate at early times and high-mobility forms accumulate later. (vi) The highest-mobility forms of VP22 partition with the cytoplasmic fraction of infected cells, while the lowest-mobility forms are associated with the nuclear fraction. (vii) Finally, full-length VP22 which partitions in the nucleus incorporates radiolabel from [32P]orthophosphate whereas cytoplasmic VP22 does not. Based on these results, we conclude that modification of VP22 coincides with its appearance in the nucleus during the course of productive HSV-1 infection.