Cultured human fibroblasts showed a typical fibrillar organization of microtubules in immunofluorescence, including the vimentin type of intermediate filament as well as actin-containing microfilaments. During infection with herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), the vimentin organization was maintained whereas actin, myosin and tubulin showed a progressive association with the viral glycoproteins within juxtanuclear structures. These structures could also be revealed with fluorochrome-coupled wheat germ agglutinin. Disruption of the microtubules by demecolcine treatment or their stabilization by taxol treatment did not prevent the aggregation of viral proteins in the cytoplasm. Taxol stabilization of the microtubules allowed the juxtanuclear accumulation of the glycoproteins in HSV-infected cells whereas treatment with demecolcine led to an accumulation of the glycoproteins either in small vesicles in the cytoplasm or in the focal adhesion areas of the cells. Production of infectious intracellular virus particles was reduced in cells treated with demecolcine or with taxol before and during infection. The results of this study indicate that the normal intracellular transport and distribution of the HSV glycoproteins and the formation of infectious virus are dependent on the presence of intact microtubules.

Keyword(s): cytoskeleton , HSV-1 and morphogenesis

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