Document Type


Original Publication Date


Journal/Book/Conference Title

Virology Journal




Originally published at

Date of Submission

August 2014



Herpes simplex virus (HSV) can utilize multiple pathways to enter host cells. The factors that determine which route is taken are not clear. Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells that express glycoprotein D (gD)-binding receptors are model cells that support a pH-dependent, endocytic entry pathway for all HSV strains tested to date. Fusion-from-without (FFWO) is the induction of target cell fusion by addition of intact virions to cell monolayers in the absence of viral protein expression. The receptor requirements for HSV-induced FFWO are not known. We used the syncytial HSV-1 strain ANG path as a tool to evaluate the complex interplay between receptor usage, membrane fusion, and selection of entry pathway.


Inhibitors of endocytosis and endosome acidification blocked ANG path entry into CHO cells expressing nectin-1 receptors, but not CHO-nectin-2 cells. Thus, under these conditions, nectin-2 mediates pH-independent entry at the plasma membrane. In addition, CHO-nectin-2 cells supported pH-dependent, endocytic entry of different strains of HSV-1, including rid1 and HFEM. The kinetics of ANG path entry was rapid (t1/2 of 5–10 min) regardless of entry route. However, HSV-1 ANG path entry by fusion with the CHO-nectin-2 cell plasma membrane was more efficient and resulted in larger syncytia. ANG path virions added to the surface of CHO-nectin-2 cells, but not receptor-negative CHO cells or CHO-nectin-1 cells, induced rapid FFWO.


HSV-1 ANG path can enter CHO cells by either endocytic or non-endocytic pathways depending on whether nectin-1 or nectin-2 is present. In addition to these cellular receptors, one or more viral determinants is important for the selection of entry pathway. HSV-induced FFWO depends on the presence of an appropriate gD-receptor in the target membrane. Nectin-1 and nectin-2 target ANG path to divergent cellular pathways, and these receptors may have different roles in triggering viral membrane fusion.


© 2006 Delboy et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Is Part Of

VCU Microbiology and Immunology Publications