The herpes simples virus type 2 (HSV-2) gene UL 14 encodes a 32 kDa protein which is a minor component of the virion tegument and is expressed late in infection. The UL14 protein shows varied localization patterns in HSV-2-infected and singly expressing cells, suggesting the possibility that it is multifunctional. We have investigated the influence of the UL14 protein on the intracellular localization of capsid protiens and DNA cleavage and packaging proteins in coexpressing cells. VP26 is the minor capsid protein; it binds to hexons of the outer capsid shell and is predominantly cytoplasmic upon sole expression. We have found that VP26 coexpressed with the UL14 protien showed mutual and predominant relocation into the nucleus. At least seven viral genes encode protiens (UL6, UL15, UL17, UL25, UL28 and UL33) that are required for DNA cleavage and packaging. We have found that the UL33 protein, which was also cytoplasmic by sole expression, was relocated to the nucleus upon expression with the UL14 protein, which again seemed to be a result of mutual influence. Coexpression experiments also suggested the possibility of a mutual influence between the UL14 and UL17 proteins, and the UL17 protien and VP26. Our results suggest that the UL14 protein can influence the intracellular localization patterns of a number of proteins belonging to the capsid or the DNA encapsidation machinery.
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