PloS one

Heat-shock protein 90 promotes nuclear transport of herpes simplex virus 1 capsid protein by interacting with acetylated tubulin.

PMID 24901434


Although it is known that inhibitors of heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) can inhibit herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) infection, the role of Hsp90 in HSV-1 entry and the antiviral mechanisms of Hsp90 inhibitors remain unclear. In this study, we found that Hsp90 inhibitors have potent antiviral activity against standard or drug-resistant HSV-1 strains and viral gene and protein synthesis are inhibited in an early phase. More detailed studies demonstrated that Hsp90 is upregulated by virus entry and it interacts with virus. Hsp90 knockdown by siRNA or treatment with Hsp90 inhibitors significantly inhibited the nuclear transport of viral capsid protein (ICP5) at the early stage of HSV-1 infection. In contrast, overexpression of Hsp90 restored the nuclear transport that was prevented by the Hsp90 inhibitors, suggesting that Hsp90 is required for nuclear transport of viral capsid protein. Furthermore, HSV-1 infection enhanced acetylation of α-tubulin and Hsp90 interacted with the acetylated α-tubulin, which is suppressed by Hsp90 inhibition. These results demonstrate that Hsp90, by interacting with acetylated α-tubulin, plays a crucial role in viral capsid protein nuclear transport and may provide novel insight into the role of Hsp90 in HSV-1 infection and offer a promising strategy to overcome drug-resistance.