Budding events in herpesvirus morphogenesis

Virus Res. 2004 Dec;106(2):167-80. doi: 10.1016/j.virusres.2004.08.013.


Herpes virions are complex particles that consist of more than 30 different virally encoded proteins. The molecular basis of how this complicated structure is assembled is only recently beginning to emerge. After replication in the host cell nucleus viral DNA is incorporated into preformed capsids, which leave the nucleus by a first budding event at the inner nuclear membrane resulting in the formation of primary enveloped virions in the perinuclear space. The primary envelope then fuses with the outer leaflet of the nuclear membrane thereby releasing nucleocapsids into the cytoplasm. Final envelopment, including the acquisition of more than 15 tegument and more than 10 envelope (glyco) proteins occurs by budding into Golgi-derived vesicles. Mature virions are released after fusion of the vesicle membrane with the plasma membrane of the cell. Thus, herpesvirus morphogenesis requires two different budding steps, which are distinct not only in the subcellular compartments in which they occur but also by the viral proteins involved. This review summarizes recent advances in our understanding of the two herpesvirus budding events.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Herpesviridae / genetics
  • Herpesviridae / growth & development*
  • Herpesviridae / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Morphogenesis
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / physiology
  • Virion / physiology
  • Virus Assembly / physiology*


  • Viral Envelope Proteins