Herpes simplex virus type 1 capsids bud at nuclear membranes and Golgi membranes acquiring an envelope composed of phospholipids. Hence, we measured incorporation of phospholipid precursors into these membranes, and quantified changes in size of cellular compartments by morphometric analysis. Incorporation of [³H]-choline into both nuclear and cytoplasmic membranes was significantly enhanced upon infection. [³H]-choline was also part of isolated virions even grown in the presence of brefeldin A. Nuclei expanded early in infection. The Golgi complex and vacuoles increased substantially whereas the endoplasmic reticulum enlarged only temporarily. The data suggest that HSV-1 stimulates phospholipid synthesis, and that de novo synthesized phospholipids are inserted into nuclear and cytoplasmic membranes to i) maintain membrane integrity in the course of nuclear and cellular expansion, ii) to supply membrane constituents for envelopment of capsids by budding at nuclear membranes and Golgi membranes, and iii) to provide membranes for formation of transport vacuoles.
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