The HSV-1 virion consists of three different compartments, capsid, tegument, and envelope. As a strategy to investigate dynamic events in the life cycle of HSV-1, we have constructed a recombinant HSV-1 that simultaneously encodes structural proteins from all three virion compartments: the VP26-capsid, VP16-tegument, and glycoprotein H envelope proteins fused with auto-fluorescent proteins (mRFP-VP26, VP16-ECFP, EYFP-gH). This triple-fluorescent recombinant HSV-1, rHSV-RYC, is replication competent and incorporates the autofluorescent fusion proteins into all three virion compartments. Confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM) of living infected cells reveal new insights into the organization and dynamics of HSV-1 infection and into the interactions between HSV-1 virion proteins.
In collaboration with Dr. R. Diefenbach (Westmead Millennium Institute, Sydney, Australia), we have also analyzed the interactions between selected HSV-1 tegument proteins.
Funding: Swiss National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health (USA), National Health and Medical Research Council Australia (NHMRC)