Herpes simplex virus gD and virions accumulate in endosomes by mannose 6-phosphate-dependent and -independent mechanisms.
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Herpes simplex virus (HSV) glycoprotein D (gD) is modified with mannose 6-phosphate (M6P) and binds to M6P receptors (MPRs). MPRs are involved in the well-characterized pathway by which lysosomal enzymes are directed to lysosomes via a network of endosomal membranes. Based on the impaired ability of HSV to form plaques under conditions in which glycoproteins could not interact with MPRs, we proposed that MPRs may function during HSV egress or cell-to-cell spread (C. R. Brunetti, R. L. Burke, B. Hoflack, T. Ludwig, K. S. Dingwell, and D. C. Johnson, J. Virol. 69:3517-3528, 1995). To further analyze M6P modification and intracellular trafficking of gD in the absence of other HSV proteins, adenovirus (Ad) vectors were used to express soluble and membrane-anchored forms of gD. Both membrane-bound and soluble gD were modified with M6P residues and were localized to endosomes that contained the 275-kDa MPR or the transferrin receptor. Similar results were observed in HSV-infected cells. Cell fractionation experiments showed that gD was not present in lysosomes. However, a mutant form of gD and another HSV glycoprotein, gI, that were not modified with M6P were also found in endosomes in HSV-infected cells. Moreover, a substantial fraction of the HSV nucleocapsid protein VP6 was found in endosomes, consistent with accumulation of virions in an endosomal compartment. Therefore, it appears that HSV glycoproteins and virions are directed to endosomes, by M6P-dependent as well as by M6P-independent mechanisms, either as part of the virus egress pathway or by endocytosis from the cell surface.
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