Intracellular trafficking of the UL11 tegument protein of herpes simplex virus type 1

J. S. Loomis, J. B. Bowzard, R. J. Courtney, J. W. Wills

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

92 Scopus citations


Growing evidence indicates that herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) acquires its final envelope in the trans-Golgi network (TGN). During the envelopment process, the viral nucleocapsid as well as the envelope and tegument proteins must arrive at this site in order to be incorporated into assembling virions. To gain a better understanding of how these proteins associate with cellular membranes and target to the correct compartment, we have been studying the intracellular trafficking properties of the small tegument protein encoded by the UL11 gene of HSV-1. This 96-amino-acid, myristylated protein accumulates on the cytoplasmic face of internal membranes, where it is thought to play a role in nucleocapsid envelopment and egress. When expressed in the absence of other HSV-1 proteins, the UL11 protein localizes to the Golgi apparatus, and previous deletion analyses have revealed that the membrane-trafficking information is contained within the first 49 amino acids. The goal of this study was to map the functional domains required for proper Golgi membrane localization. In addition to N-terminal myristylation, which allows for weak membrane binding, UL11 appears to be palmitylated on one or more of three consecutive N-terminal cysteines. Using membrane-pelleting experiments and confocal microscopy, we show that palmitylation of UL11 is required for both Golgi targeting specificity and strong membrane binding. Furthermore, we found that a conserved acidic cluster within the first half of UL11 is required for the recycling of this tegument protein from the plasma membrane to the Golgi apparatus. Taken together, our results demonstrate that UL11 has highly dynamic membrane-trafficking properties, which suggests that it may play multiple roles on the plasma membrane as well as on the nuclear and TGN membranes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12209-12219
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number24
StatePublished - 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


Dive into the research topics of 'Intracellular trafficking of the UL11 tegument protein of herpes simplex virus type 1'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this