Biochemical and structural characterization of the capsid-bound tegument proteins of human cytomegalovirus

Academic Article


  • Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is the most genetically and structurally complex human herpesvirus and is composed of an envelope, a tegument, and a dsDNA-containing capsid. HCMV tegument plays essential roles in HCMV infection and assembly. Using cryo electron tomography (cryoET), here we show that HCMV tegument compartment can be divided into two sub-compartments: an inner and an outer tegument. The inner tegument consists of densely-packed proteins surrounding the capsid. The outer tegument contains those components that are loosely packed in the space between the inner tegument and the pleomorphic glycoprotein-containing envelope. To systematically characterize the inner tegument proteins interacting with the capsid, we used chemical treatment to strip off the entire envelope and most tegument proteins to obtain a tegumented capsid with inner tegument proteins. SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis analyses show that only two tegument proteins, UL32-encoded pp150 and UL48-encoded high molecular weight protein (HMWP), remains unchanged in their abundance in the tegumented capsids as compared to their abundance in the intact particles. Three-dimensional reconstructions by single particle cryo electron microscopy (cryoEM) reveal that the net-like layer of icosahedrally-ordered tegument densities are also the same in the tegumented capsid and in the intact particles. CryoET reconstruction of the tegumented capsid labeled with an anti-pp150 antibody is consistent with the biochemical and cryoEM data in localizing pp150 within the ordered tegument. Taken together, these results suggest that pp150, a betaherpesvirus-specific tegument protein, is a constituent of the net-like layer of icosahedrally-ordered capsid-bound tegument densities, a structure lacking similarities in alpha and gammaherpesviruses. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Yu X; Shah S; Lee M; Dai W; Lo P; Britt W; Zhu H; Liu F; Hong Zhou Z
  • Start Page

  • 451
  • End Page

  • 460
  • Volume

  • 174
  • Issue

  • 3