US3 protein kinase of herpes simplex virus type 2 is required for the stability of the UL46-encoded tegument protein and its association with virus particles

Akio Matsuzaki, Yohei Yamauchi, Akihisa Kato, Fumi Goshima, Yasushi Kawaguchi, Tetsushi Yoshikawa, Yukihiro Nishiyama

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The herpes simplex virus (HSV) US3 gene encodes a serine/threonine protein kinase (PK). Although US3 PK is not essential for virus replication in cell culture, it plays an important role in the regulation of apoptosis in infected cells. However, the role of US3 PK in virus replication and pathogenicity is not well understood. The UL46 gene encodes virion tegument phosphoproteins, the properties and functions of which are poorly understood. In this study, it is shown that the UL46 protein of HSV type 2 (HSV-2) is affected strikingly by the presence of US3 PK. In the absence of US3 PK, UL46 protein was quite unstable, being much more susceptible to degradation. UL46 protein was undetectable in the extracellular virions of US3-deficient virus. Moreover, in vitro kinase assays using recombinant US3 PK show that UL46 protein is phosphorylated by the US3 PK, suggesting that UL46 can be a direct substrate for US3 PK in infected cells. Together, these findings shed new light on the physiological functions of US3 PK.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1979-1985
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of General Virology
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 01-07-2005
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Virology

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