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Herpesviruses are double-stranded DNA, enveloped viruses that infect host cells through fusion with either the host cell plasma membrane or endocytic vesicle membranes. Efficient infection of host cells by herpesviruses is remarkably more complex than infection by other viruses, as it requires the concerted effort of multiple glycoproteins and involves multiple host receptors. The structures of the major viral glycoproteins and a number of host receptors involved in the entry of the prototypical herpesviruses, the herpes simplex viruses (HSVs) and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), are now known. These structural studies have accelerated our understanding of HSV and EBV binding and fusion by revealing the conformational changes that occur on virus-receptor binding, depicting potential sites of functional protein and lipid interactions, and identifying the probable viral fusogen.


Sarah A Connolly, Julia O Jackson, Theodore S Jardetzky, Richard Longnecker. Fusing structure and function: a structural view of the herpesvirus entry machinery. Nature reviews. Microbiology. 2011 May;9(5):369-81

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PMID: 21478902

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