The Role of the Major Tegument Protein VP8 of Bovine herpesvirus-1 in Infection and Immunity

Virology. 1995 Jan 10;206(1):413-25. doi: 10.1016/s0042-6822(95)80057-3.


The tegument of bovine herpesvirus-1 (BHV-1) carries an abundant protein of 96 kDa, termed VP8. Immunolabeling using VP8-specific antiserum and colloidal gold-labeled protein A as the electron-dense marker was used to identify VP8 in the virions and virus-infected cells. VP8 was confirmed to be a tegument protein that, like the herpes simplex virus-1 homologue VP13/14, contains O-linked carbohydrates. VP8 was found in the nucleus of virus-infected cells as early as 2 hr postinfection. Since VP8 is a gamma2 protein, this protein cannot be newly synthesized at this time and must be acquired from the inoculum. This supports the hypothesis that early during infection, VP8 has a function in modulation of alpha gene expression. Later during infection, VP8 was observed in the cytoplasm around nucleocapsids and in dense inclusions, which accumulated in the cisternae of the Golgi. In addition, de novo-synthesized VP8 continued to accumulate in the nucleus in dense areas and around nucleocapsids. In calves, VP8 stimulated T cell proliferation and antibody production, both after BHV-1 challenge and after immunization with purified VP8. These results suggest a role for VP8 in the induction of humoral and specifically cell-mediated immunity to BHV-1.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Capsid / immunology
  • Capsid / physiology*
  • Capsid / ultrastructure
  • Capsid Proteins
  • Cattle
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Glycosylation
  • Herpesviridae Infections / immunology*
  • Herpesviridae Infections / virology
  • Herpesvirus 1, Bovine / immunology
  • Herpesvirus 1, Bovine / physiology*
  • Herpesvirus 1, Bovine / ultrastructure
  • Microscopy, Electron


  • Capsid Proteins
  • VP8 protein, Bovine herpesvirus 1