The Homepage of Dr. Edward K. Wagner 
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Herpes simplex virus Research

Animations of steps of HSV Infection and Replication

Receptor Binding

Herpes simplex virus genome must enter the cell for the initiation of infection.

The initial association is between proteoglycans of the cell surface and gC.   This is followed by a specific interaction with one of several cellular receptors collectively termed "HVEM" for "herpesvirus entry mediators".  These are related to receptors for nerve growth factors and tumor necrosis factor.  The association requires the specific interaction with the glycoprotein gD.

Fusion with the cellular membrane follows.  This requires the action of a number of viral glycoproteins including gB, gH, gI, and gL.

The viral capsid with some tegument proteins then migrate to nuclear pores along cellular microtubules utilizing cellular transport machinery.  This "docking" is thought to result in the viral DNA being injected through the pore while the capsid remains in the cytoplasm.  Some tegument proteins, such asa-TIF, also enter the nucleus with the viral genome.

Illustration and Flash animations by
Karin Christensen
Scientific, Medical and Veterinary Illustration.

The animations are available for download for classroom teaching.