Characterization of the human cytomegalovirus gH/gL/UL128-131 complex that mediates entry into epithelial and endothelial cells

Brent J. Ryckman, Barb L. Rainish, Marie C. Chase, Jamie A. Borton, Jay A. Nelson, Michael A. Jarvis, David C. Johnson

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269 Scopus citations


The entry of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) into biologically relevant epithelial and endothelial cells involves endocytosis followed by low-pH-dependent fusion. This entry pathway is facilitated by the HCMV UL128, UL130, and UL131 proteins, which form one or more complexes with the virion envelope glycoprotein gH/gL. gH/gL/UL128-131 complexes appear to be distinct from the gH/gL/gO complex, which likely facilitates entry into fibroblasts. In order to better understand the assembly and protein-protein interactions of gH/gL/ UL128-131 complexes, we generated HCMV mutants lacking UL128-131 proteins and nonreplicating adenovirus vectors expressing gH, gL, UL128, UL130, and UL131. Our results demonstrate that UL128, UL130, and UL131 can each independently assemble onto gH/gL scaffolds. However, the binding of individual UL128-131 proteins onto gH/gL can significantly affect the binding of other proteins; for example, UL128 increased the binding of both UL130 and UL131 to gH/gL. Direct interactions between gH/UL130, UL130/UL131, gL/UL128, and UL128/UL130 were also observed. The export of gH/gL complexes from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) to the Golgi apparatus and cell surface was dramatically increased when all of UL128, UL130, and UL131 were coexpressed with gH/gL (with or without gO expression). Incorporation of gH/gL complexes into the virion envelope requires transport beyond the ER. Thus, we concluded that UL128, UL130, and UL131 must all bind simultaneously onto gH/gL for the production of complexes that can function in entry into epithelial and endothelial cells.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)60-70
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2008


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