The assembly and egress of herpes simplex virus (HSV) is a complicated multistage process that involves several different cellular compartments and the activity of many viral and cellular proteins. The process begins in the nucleus, with capsid assembly followed by genome packaging into the preformed capsids. The DNA-filled capsids (nucleocapsids) then exit the nucleus by a process of envelopment at the inner nuclear membrane followed by fusion with the outer nuclear membrane. In the cytoplasm nucleocapsids associate with tegument proteins, which form a complicated protein network that links the nucleocapsid to the cytoplasmic domains of viral envelope proteins. Nucleocapsids and associated tegument then undergo secondary envelopment at intracellular membranes originating from late secretory pathway and endosomal compartments. This leads to assembled virions in the lumen of large cytoplasmic vesicles, which are then transported to the cell periphery to fuse with the plasma membrane and release virus particles from the cell. The details of this multifaceted process are described in this chapter.
Keywords: HSV; Herpes simplex virus; Virus assembly; Virus egress.