The herpesvirus family contains eight human pathogens that act as the causative agent of several human maladies. The herpesvirus family can be further subdivided alphaherpesviruses, betaherpesviruses, and the oncogenic gammaherpesviruses. Herpesvirus replication and capsid assembly occurs within the nucleus, from there capsids migrate into the cytoplasm. Following nuclear egress, viral capsids travel to the cellular membrane, where morphogenesis takes place. Recent analysis has demonstrated that the gammaherpesvirus Kaposi’s sarcoma associated herpesvirus (KSHV) upregulates the expression of a host miR-365 to target the cellular protein, DOCK5, to enhance KSHV egress. This hypothesis is supported by the observation that inhibition of miR-365 or overexpression of DOCK5 leads to the prevention of KSHV egress and accumulation of capsids at the plasma membrane. As herpesviruses share several mechanistic features, we are now employing electron microscopy to visualise the cytoplasmic capsid accumulation and to determine how DOCK5 is involved in herpesvirus egress. This will be achieved through advanced microscopy techniques such as correlative light microscopy, cryo-electron microscopy, and a novel nanobiopsy approach known as nanopipetting. Currently we have been establishing the optimal time of capsid egress in both KSHV and Herpes Simplex Virus-1 which will aid in visualising the process through transmission electron microscopy. A better understanding of herpesvirus egress will potentially help identify novel antiviral targets against herpesviruses.

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