Human cytomegalovirus egress: Overcoming barriers and co-opting cellular functions

Academic Article


  • The assembly of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) and other herpesviruses includes both nuclear and cytoplasmic phases. During the prolonged replication cycle of HCMV, the cell undergoes remarkable changes in cellular architecture that include marked increases in nuclear size and structure as well as the reorganization of membranes in cytoplasm. Similarly, significant changes occur in cellular metabolism, protein trafficking, and cellular homeostatic functions. These cellular modifications are considered integral in the efficient assembly of infectious progeny in productively infected cells. Nuclear egress of HCMV nucleocapsids is thought to follow a pathway similar to that proposed for other members of the herpesvirus family. During this process, viral nucleocapsids must overcome structural barriers in the nucleus that limit transit and, ultimately, their delivery to the cytoplasm for final assembly of progeny virions. HCMV, similar to other herpesviruses, encodes viral functions that co-opt cellular functions to overcome these barriers and to bridge the bilaminar nuclear membrane. In this brief review, we will highlight some of the mechanisms that define our current understanding of HCMV egress, relying heavily on the current understanding of egress of the more well-studied α-herpesviruses, HSV-1 and PRV.
  • Published In

  • Viruses  Journal
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Sanchez V; Britt W
  • Volume

  • 14
  • Issue

  • 1