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Gene Review

UL37  -  complexed with large tegument protein

Human herpesvirus 1

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Disease relevance of UL37

  • Phosphorylation of structural components promotes dissociation of the herpes simplex virus type 1 tegument [1].
  • The role of phosphorylation in the dissociation of structural components of the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) tegument was investigated, using an in vitro assay [1].
  • Purified virions were found to contain approximately 700 copies of the UL11 protein per particle, making it an abundant component of the tegument [2].
  • Current evidence suggests that viral glycoprotein tails play a role in the recruitment of tegument-coated capsids to the site of final envelopment; vesicles derived from the trans-Golgi network [3].
  • Monospecific polyclonal antisera raised against VP13/14, a major tegument protein of herpes simplex virus type 1 cross-reacted with structural equine herpesvirus 1 and 4 proteins of Mr 120,000 and 123,000, respectively; these proteins are identical in molecular weight to the corresponding glycoprotein 10 (gp10) of each virus [4].

High impact information on UL37

  • Herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1) virions are large, complex enveloped particles containing a proteinaceous tegument layer connected to an icosahedral capsid [5].
  • During entry, herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) releases its capsid and the tegument proteins into the cytosol of a host cell by fusing with the plasma membrane [6].
  • Nuclear transport of the viral tegument protein VP16, transport of viral capsids to the nuclear pore, and downstream events (including expression of immediate-early genes and viral plaque formation) were substantially reduced in cells transfected with dominant-negative mutants of FAK or small interfering RNA designed to inhibit FAK expression [7].
  • We have previously shown (G. E. Lee, G. A. Church, and D. W. Wilson, J. Virol. 77:2038-2045, 2003) that the virion host shutoff (Vhs) tegument protein is largely insoluble in HSV-infected cells and is also stably associated with membranes [8].
  • Identification of a 709-Amino-Acid Internal Nonessential Region within the Essential Conserved Tegument Protein (p)UL36 of Pseudorabies Virus [9].

Chemical compound and disease context of UL37

  • The protein kinase associated with purified herpes simplex virus 1 and 2 virions partitioned with the capsid-tegument structures and was not solubilized by non-ionic detergents and low, non-inhibitory concentrations of urea [10].
  • The neurons were infected with HSV-1 to examine the distribution of capsid (VP5), tegument (VP16), and glycoproteins (gC and gB) at 2, 6, 10, 13, 17, and 24 h postinfection (p.i.) with or without nocodazole (a microtubule depolymerizer) or brefeldin A (a Golgi inhibitor) [11].
  • CONCLUSION: These results indicate that proteins encoded in the HSV-1 genome, especially the transactivating immediate early gene products (ICP4, ICP27 and ICP0) and the VP16 tegument protein can activate the tetO/ minimal CMV promoter and thereby interfere with the integrity of tetracycline-regulated transgene expression [12].

Biological context of UL37


Anatomical context of UL37

  • The UL11 gene of herpes simplex virus type 1 encodes a 96-amino-acid tegument protein that is myristylated, palmitylated, and phosphorylated and is found on the cytoplasmic faces of nuclear, Golgi apparatus-derived, and plasma membranes of infected cells [2].
  • After contact of infectious virus with the cell plasma membrane, discernible changes of the envelope and tegument could be seen by electron microscopy [15].
  • In this study, we have tested the hypothesis that latent infection of sensory neurons results from the failure of alpha TIF, a tegument protein, to be transported from the nerve endings to the nucleus of the sensory neuron [16].
  • UL37 mutant particles can participate in the initial envelopment at the nuclear membrane, although this process may be impaired in the absence of UL37 [17].
  • This virus was unable to grow in Vero cells; therefore, UL37 encodes an essential function of the virus [17].

Associations of UL37 with chemical compounds

  • We have identified an interaction between VP22, an abundant tegument protein and the cytoplasmic tail of glycoprotein E (gE) [3].
  • Their locations and interactions suggest possible roles for the tegument proteins in regulating DNA transport through the penton channel and binding to cellular transport proteins during viral infection [18].

Other interactions of UL37

  • The cistrons encoding the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) UL37 and UL38 genes are adjacent to one another but are transcribed from opposite strands of the viral DNA [19].
  • The remaining interactions consisted of self-associations that were observed for US11, UL37, and UL49 [20].
  • Thus, both the kinetics and relative abundance of UL50 and UL37 transcripts are a direct function of their respective promoter regulatory elements [21].
  • Analysis of isolated mature HSV virions and light particles revealed that the UL37 protein is a component of the virion [22].
  • From studies on the resultant virus recombinant using a monoclonal antibody that recognizes the inserted epitope we find that, contrary to a previous report, the UL37 protein is a structural component of both virions and L particles and is present in the tegument of virus particles [23].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of UL37

  • Insertion of the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) homolog of VZV ORF21, HSV-1 UL37, into the ORF21 deletion mutant failed to complement the mutant for growth in cell culture [24].
  • Crude cell fractionation of infected cells using detergent lysis demonstrated that two-thirds of the UL37 mutant particles were associated with the nuclear fraction, unlike wild-type particles, which were predominantly in the cytoplasmic fraction [17].
  • Indirect immunofluorescence experiments using HSV-1-infected cells and cells infected with a vaccinia recombinant virus that expresses the UL37 gene demonstrated that the UL37 protein is present in both the nucleus and cytoplasm of infected cells and that localization to the nucleus does not require additional HSV proteins [22].
  • Capsid structure of simian cytomegalovirus from cryoelectron microscopy: evidence for tegument attachment sites [25].
  • ETIF was localized to the viral tegument in Western blot assays of EHV-1 virions and subvirion fractions using polyclonal antiserum and monoclonal antibodies generated against a glutathione-S-transferase-ETIF fusion protein [26].


  1. Phosphorylation of structural components promotes dissociation of the herpes simplex virus type 1 tegument. Morrison, E.E., Wang, Y.F., Meredith, D.M. J. Virol. (1998) [Pubmed]
  2. Packaging Determinants in the UL11 Tegument Protein of Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1. Loomis, J.S., Courtney, R.J., Wills, J.W. J. Virol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  3. A conserved region of the herpes simplex virus type 1 tegument protein VP22 facilitates interaction with the cytoplasmic tail of glycoprotein E (gE). O'regan, K.J., Bucks, M.A., Murphy, M.A., Wills, J.W., Courtney, R.J. Virology (2007) [Pubmed]
  4. Antigenic and protein sequence homology between VP13/14, a herpes simplex virus type 1 tegument protein, and gp10, a glycoprotein of equine herpesvirus 1 and 4. Whittaker, G.R., Riggio, M.P., Halliburton, I.W., Killington, R.A., Allen, G.P., Meredith, D.M. J. Virol. (1991) [Pubmed]
  5. Structure of the herpesvirus major capsid protein. Bowman, B.R., Baker, M.L., Rixon, F.J., Chiu, W., Quiocho, F.A. EMBO J. (2003) [Pubmed]
  6. Herpes simplex virus type 1 entry into host cells: reconstitution of capsid binding and uncoating at the nuclear pore complex in vitro. Ojala, P.M., Sodeik, B., Ebersold, M.W., Kutay, U., Helenius, A. Mol. Cell. Biol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  7. Focal adhesion kinase plays a pivotal role in herpes simplex virus entry. Cheshenko, N., Liu, W., Satlin, L.M., Herold, B.C. J. Biol. Chem. (2005) [Pubmed]
  8. The amino terminus of the herpes simplex virus 1 protein vhs mediates membrane association and tegument incorporation. Mukhopadhyay, A., Lee, G.E., Wilson, D.W. J. Virol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  9. Identification of a 709-Amino-Acid Internal Nonessential Region within the Essential Conserved Tegument Protein (p)UL36 of Pseudorabies Virus. Böttcher, S., Klupp, B.G., Granzow, H., Fuchs, W., Michael, K., Mettenleiter, T.C. J. Virol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  10. Herpes simplex virus phosphoproteins. II. Characterization of the virion protein kinase and of the polypeptides phosphorylated in the virion. Lemaster, S., Roizman, B. J. Virol. (1980) [Pubmed]
  11. Anterograde transport of herpes simplex virus type 1 in cultured, dissociated human and rat dorsal root ganglion neurons. Miranda-Saksena, M., Armati, P., Boadle, R.A., Holland, D.J., Cunningham, A.L. J. Virol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  12. HSV-1 infected cell proteins influence tetracycline-regulated transgene expression. Herrlinger, U., Pechan, P.A., Jacobs, A.H., Woiciechowski, C., Rainov, N.G., Fraefel, C., Paulus, W., Reeves, S.A. The journal of gene medicine. (2000) [Pubmed]
  13. Post-translational modification of the tegument proteins (VP13 and VP14) of herpes simplex virus type 1 by glycosylation and phosphorylation. Meredith, D.M., Lindsay, J.A., Halliburton, I.W., Whittaker, G.R. J. Gen. Virol. (1991) [Pubmed]
  14. Identification and characterization of the herpes simplex virus type 1 protein encoded by the UL37 open reading frame. Shelton, L.S., Pensiero, M.N., Jenkins, F.J. J. Virol. (1990) [Pubmed]
  15. Herpes simplex virus type 1 entry through a cascade of virus-cell interactions requires different roles of gD and gH in penetration. Fuller, A.O., Lee, W.C. J. Virol. (1992) [Pubmed]
  16. Expression of the herpes simplex virus 1 alpha transinducing factor (VP16) does not induce reactivation of latent virus or prevent the establishment of latency in mice. Sears, A.E., Hukkanen, V., Labow, M.A., Levine, A.J., Roizman, B. J. Virol. (1991) [Pubmed]
  17. A null mutation in the gene encoding the herpes simplex virus type 1 UL37 polypeptide abrogates virus maturation. Desai, P., Sexton, G.L., McCaffery, J.M., Person, S. J. Virol. (2001) [Pubmed]
  18. Visualization of tegument-capsid interactions and DNA in intact herpes simplex virus type 1 virions. Zhou, Z.H., Chen, D.H., Jakana, J., Rixon, F.J., Chiu, W. J. Virol. (1999) [Pubmed]
  19. Analysis of the herpes simplex virus type 1 promoter controlling the expression of UL38, a true late gene involved in capsid assembly. Flanagan, W.M., Papavassiliou, A.G., Rice, M., Hecht, L.B., Silverstein, S., Wagner, E.K. J. Virol. (1991) [Pubmed]
  20. Determination of interactions between tegument proteins of herpes simplex virus type 1. Vittone, V., Diefenbach, E., Triffett, D., Douglas, M.W., Cunningham, A.L., Diefenbach, R.J. J. Virol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  21. Functional modules important for activated expression of early genes of herpes simplex virus type 1 are clustered upstream of the TATA box. Pande, N.T., Petroski, M.D., Wagner, E.K. Virology (1998) [Pubmed]
  22. The UL37 protein of herpes simplex virus type 1 is associated with the tegument of purified virions. Schmitz, J.B., Albright, A.G., Kinchington, P.R., Jenkins, F.J. Virology (1995) [Pubmed]
  23. The herpes simplex virus type 1 UL37 gene product is a component of virus particles. McLauchlan, J., Liefkens, K., Stow, N.D. J. Gen. Virol. (1994) [Pubmed]
  24. Varicella-zoster virus open reading frame 21, which is expressed during latency, is essential for virus replication but dispensable for establishment of latency. Xia, D., Srinivas, S., Sato, H., Pesnicak, L., Straus, S.E., Cohen, J.I. J. Virol. (2003) [Pubmed]
  25. Capsid structure of simian cytomegalovirus from cryoelectron microscopy: evidence for tegument attachment sites. Trus, B.L., Gibson, W., Cheng, N., Steven, A.C. J. Virol. (1999) [Pubmed]
  26. Structural and antigenic identification of the ORF12 protein (alpha TIF) of equine herpesvirus 1. Lewis, J.B., Thompson, Y.G., Feng, X., Holden, V.R., O'Callaghan, D., Caughman, G.B. Virology (1997) [Pubmed]
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