Nonmuscle myosin heavy chain IIb mediates herpes simplex virus 1 entry

J Virol. 2015 Feb;89(3):1879-88. doi: 10.1128/JVI.03079-14. Epub 2014 Nov 26.


Nonmuscle myosin heavy chain IIA (NMHC-IIA) has been reported to function as a herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) entry coreceptor by interacting with viral envelope glycoprotein B (gB). Vertebrates have three genetically distinct isoforms of the NMHC-II, designated NMHC-IIA, NMHC-IIB, and NMHC-IIC. COS cells, which are readily infected by HSV-1, do not express NMHC-IIA but do express NMHC-IIB. This observation prompted us to investigate whether NMHC-IIB might associate with HSV-1 gB and be involved in an HSV-1 entry like NMHC-IIA. In these studies, we show that (i) NMHC-IIB coprecipitated with gB in COS-1 cells upon HSV-1 entry; (ii) a specific inhibitor of myosin light chain kinase inhibited cell surface expression of NMHC-IIB in COS-1 cells upon HSV-1 entry as well as HSV-1 infection, as reported with NMHC-IIA; (iii) overexpression of mouse NMHC-IIB in IC21 cells significantly increased their susceptibility to HSV-1 infection; and (iv) knockdown of NMHC-IIB in COS-1 cells inhibited HSV-1 infection as well as cell-cell fusion mediated by HSV-1 envelope glycoproteins. These results supported the hypothesis that, like NMHC-IIA, NMHC-IIB associated with HSV-1 gB and mediated HSV-1 entry.

Importance: Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) was reported to utilize nonmuscle myosin heavy chain IIA (NMHC-IIA) as an entry coreceptor associating with gB. Vertebrates have three genetically distinct isoforms of NMHC-II. In these isoforms, NMHC-IIB is of special interest since it highly expresses in neuronal tissue, one of the most important cellular targets of HSV-1 in vivo. In this study, we demonstrated that the ability to mediate HSV-1 entry appeared to be conserved in NMHC-II isoforms. These results may provide an insight into the mechanism by which HSV-1 infects a wide variety of cell types in vivo.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Herpesvirus 1, Human / physiology*
  • Immunoprecipitation
  • Mice
  • Nonmuscle Myosin Type IIB / metabolism*
  • Protein Binding
  • Receptors, Virus / metabolism*
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / metabolism
  • Virus Internalization*


  • Receptors, Virus
  • Viral Envelope Proteins
  • glycoprotein B, human herpesvirus 1
  • Nonmuscle Myosin Type IIB