Characterization of herpes simplex virus type 1 L-particle assembly and egress in hippocampal neurones by electron cryo-tomography.
Ibiricu I., Maurer UE., Grünewald K.
Visualizing virus-host interactions in situ inside infected cells by electron cryo-tomography provides unperturbed snapshots of the infection process. Here we focus on the assembly and egress pathway of herpesviruses. Cells infected with herpes simplex virus 1 produce and release not only infective virions but also non-infectious light particles (L-particles). L-particles are devoid of viral capsids and genomes. In this study, we analysed L-particle assembly and egress pathways in cultured dissociated hippocampus neurones by electron cryo-tomography. Virion and L-particle formation occurred in close proximity, suggesting shared assembly and exit pathways. Clathrin-like coats were occasionally associated with L-particle and virion assembly sites. Further, we compared the three-dimensional ultrastructure of intracellular and extracellular L-particles and quantified their diameters and the abundance of inclusion bodies contained.