During infection of neurons by alphaherpesviruses including Pseudorabies virus (PRV) and Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) viral nucleocapsids assemble in the cell nucleus, become enveloped in the cell body then traffic into and down axons to nerve termini for spread to adjacent epithelia. The viral membrane protein US9p and the membrane glycoprotein heterodimer gE/gI play critical roles in anterograde spread of both HSV-1 and PRV, and several models exist to explain their function. Biochemical studies suggest that PRV US9p associates with the kinesin-3 motor KIF1A in a gE/gI-stimulated manner, and the gE/ gI-US9p complex has been proposed to recruit KIF1A to PRV for microtubule-mediated anterograde trafficking into or along the axon. However, as loss of gE/gI-US9p essentially abolishes delivery of alphaherpesviruses to the axon it is difficult to determine the microtubule-dependent trafficking properties and motor-composition of Δ(gE/gI−US9p) particles. Alternatively, studies in HSV-1 have suggested that gE/gI and US9p are required for the appearance of virions in the axon because they act upstream, to help assemble enveloped virions in the cell body. We prepared Δ(gE/gI-US9p) mutant, and control parental PRV particles from differentiated cultured neuronal or porcine kidney epithelial cells and quantitated the efficiency of virion assembly, the properties of microtubule-dependent transport and the ability of viral particles to recruit kinesin motors. We find that loss of gE/gI-US9p has no significant effect upon PRV particle assembly but leads to greatly diminished plus end-directed traffic, and enhanced minus end-directed and bidirectional movement along microtubules. PRV particles prepared from infected differentiated mouse CAD neurons were found to be associated with either kinesin KIF1A or kinesin KIF5C, but not both. Loss of gE/gI-US9p resulted in failure to recruit KIF1A and KF5C, but did not affect dynein binding. Unexpectedly, while KIF5C was expressed in undifferentiated and differentiated CAD neurons it was only found associated with PRV particles prepared from differentiated cells.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Biology