Human Cytomegalovirus

Volume 325 of the series Current Topics in Microbiology and Immunology pp 101-115

Functions of Human Cytomegalovirus Tegument Proteins Prior to Immediate Early Gene Expression

  • R. F. KalejtaAffiliated withInstitute for Molecular Virology and McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research, University of Wisconsin-Madison

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Proteins within the tegument layer of herpesviruses such as human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) are released into the cell upon entry when the viral envelope fuses with the cell membrane. These proteins are fully formed and active, and they mediate key events at the very start of the lytic infectious cycle, including the delivery of the viral genome to the nucleus and the initiation of viral gene expression. This review examines what is known about tegument protein function prior to the immediate early (IE) phase of the viral lytic replication cycle and identifies key questions that need to be answered to better understand how these proteins promote HCMV infection so that antiviral treatments that target these important viral regulators can be developed.