[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) ICP8 is a single-stranded DNA-binding protein that is necessary for viral DNA replication and exhibits recombinase activity in vitro. Alignment of the HSV-1 ICP8 amino acid sequence with ICP8 homologs from other herpesviruses revealed conserved aspartic acid (D) and glutamic acid (E) residues. Amino acid residue D1087 was conserved in every ICP8 homolog analyzed, indicating that it is likely critical for ICP8 function. We took a genetic approach to investigate the functions of the conserved ICP8 D and E residues in HSV-1 replication. The E1086A D1087A mutant form of ICP8 failed to support the replication of an ICP8 mutant virus in a complementation assay. E1086A D1087A mutant ICP8 bound DNA, albeit with reduced affinity, demonstrating that the protein is not globally misfolded. This mutant form of ICP8 was also recognized by a conformation-specific antibody, further indicating that its overall structure was intact. A recombinant virus expressing E1086A D1087A mutant ICP8 was defective in viral replication, viral DNA synthesis, and late gene expression in Vero cells. A class of enzymes called DDE recombinases utilize conserved D and E residues to coordinate divalent metal cations in their active sites. We investigated whether the conserved D and E residues in ICP8 were also required for binding metal cations and found that the E1086A D1087A mutant form of ICP8 exhibited altered divalent metal binding in an in vitro iron-induced cleavage assay. These results identify a novel divalent metal cation-binding site in ICP8 that is required for ICP8 functions during viral replication.
Journal of Virology 04/2012; 86(12):6825-34. · 5.08 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Little is known about the mechanisms of gene targeting within the nucleus and its effect on gene expression, but most studies have concluded that genes located near the nuclear periphery are silenced by heterochromatin. In contrast, we found that early herpes simplex virus (HSV) genome complexes localize near the nuclear lamina and that this localization is associated with reduced heterochromatin on the viral genome and increased viral immediate-early (IE) gene transcription. In this study, we examined the mechanism of this effect and found that input virion transactivator protein, virion protein 16 (VP16), targets sites adjacent to the nuclear lamina and is required for targeting of the HSV genome to the nuclear lamina, exclusion of heterochromatin from viral replication compartments, and reduction of heterochromatin on the viral genome. Because cells infected with the VP16 mutant virus in1814 showed a phenotype similar to that of lamin A/C(-/-) cells infected with wild-type virus, we hypothesized that the nuclear lamina is required for VP16 activator complex formation. In lamin A/C(-/-) mouse embryo fibroblasts, VP16 and Oct-1 showed reduced association with the viral IE gene promoters, the levels of VP16 and HCF-1 stably associated with the nucleus were lower than in wild-type cells, and the association of VP16 with HCF-1 was also greatly reduced. These results show that the nuclear lamina is required for stable nuclear localization and formation of the VP16 activator complex and provide evidence for the nuclear lamina being the site of assembly of the VP16 activator complex. IMPORTANCE: The targeting of chromosomes in the cell nucleus is thought to be important in the regulation of expression of genes on the chromosomes. The major documented effect of intranuclear targeting has been silencing of chromosomes at sites near the nuclear periphery. In this study, we show that targeting of the herpes simplex virus DNA genome to the nuclear periphery promotes formation of transcriptional activator complexes on the viral genome, demonstrating that the nuclear periphery also has sites for activation of transcription. These results highlight the importance of the nuclear lamina, the structure that lines the inner nuclear membrane, in both transcriptional activation and repression. Future studies defining the molecular structures of these two types of nuclear sites should define new levels of gene regulation.