Alphaherpesvirus virions infect neurons and are transported in axons for long distance spread within the host nervous system. The assembly state of newly made herpesvirus particles during anterograde transport in axons is an essential question in alphaherpesvirus biology. The structure of the particle has remained both elusive and controversial for the past two decades, with conflicting evidence from EM, immunofluorescence, and live cell imaging studies. Two opposing models have been proposed-the Married and Separate Models. Under the Married Model, infectious virions are assembled in the neuronal cell body before sorting into axons and then traffic inside a transport vesicle. Conversely, the Separate Model postulates that vesicles containing viral membrane proteins are sorted into axons independent of capsids, with final assembly of mature virions occurring at a distant egress site. Recently, a complementary series of studies employing high-resolution EM and live cell fluorescence microscopy have provided evidence consistent with the Married Model, whereas other studies offer evidence supporting the Separate Model. In this review, we compare and discuss the published data and attempt to reconcile divergent findings and interpretations as they relate to these models.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases