A temperature-sensitive mutant of herpes simplex virus type 1, Q26, was shown to contain an amino acid substitution in glycoprotein H (gH). The mutant entered cells efficiently at the non-permissive temperature and replicated to give nearly normal yields of intracellular infectivity. The intracellular virions contained, predominantly, an immature form of gH and no gH was found on the surface of infected cells. Excreted virions were devoid of gH and were not infectious. Virions excreted at the permissive temperature were infectious and contained gH and no loss of gH resulted from incubation of these virions at the non-permissive temperature. The temperature-sensitive phenotype apparently results from the loss of gH from virions during their transport to the cell surface, and since loss of gH is accompanied by loss of infectivity we conclude that gH is an essential component of the infectious virion.


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