Localization of the interaction site of herpes simplex virus glycoprotein D (gD) on the Membrane Fusion Regulator, gH/gL

Tina M. Cairns, Doina Atanasiu, Wan Ting Saw, Huan Lou, J. Charles Whitbeck, Noah T. Ditto, Birgitte Bruun, Helena Browne, Lucas Bennett, Chun Wu, Claude Krummenacher, Benjamin D. Brooks, Roselyn J. Eisenberg, Gary H. Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations

Abstract

A cascade of protein-protein interactions between four herpes simplex virus (HSV) glycoproteins (gD, gH/gL, and gB) drive fusion between the HSV envelope and host membrane, thereby allowing for virus entry and infection. Specifically, binding of gD to one of its receptors induces a conformational change that allows gD to bind to the regulatory complex gH/gL, which then activates the fusogen gB, resulting in membrane fusion. Using surface plasmon resonance and a panel of anti-gD monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) that sterically blocked the interaction, we previously showed that gH/gL binds directly to gD at sites distinct from the gD receptor binding site. Here, using an analogous strategy, we first evaluated the ability of a panel of uncharacterized anti-gH/gL MAbs to block binding to gD and/or inhibit fusion. We found that the epitopes of four gD-gH/gL-blocking MAbs were located within flexible regions of the gH N terminus and the gL C terminus, while the fifth was placed around gL residue 77. Taken together, our data localized the gD binding region on gH/gL to a group of gH and gL residues at the membrane distal region of the heterodimer. Surprisingly, a second set of MAbs did not block gD-gH/gL binding but instead stabilized the complex by altering the kinetic binding. However, despite this prolonged gD-gH/gL interaction, "stabilizing"MAbs also inhibited cell-cell fusion, suggesting a unique mechanism by which the fusion process is halted. Our findings support targeting the gD-gH/gL interaction to prevent fusion in both therapeutic and vaccine strategies against HSV. IMPORTANCE Key to developing a human HSV vaccine is an understanding of the virion glycoproteins involved in entry. HSV employs multiple glycoproteins for attachment, receptor interaction, and membrane fusion. Determining how these proteins function was resolved, in part, by structural biology coupled with immunological and biologic evidence. After binding, virion gD interacts with a receptor to activate the regulator gH/gL complex, triggering gB to drive fusion. Multiple questions remain, one being the physical location of each glycoprotein interaction site. Using protective antibodies with known epitopes, we documented the long-sought interaction between gD and gH/gL, detailing the region on gD important to create the gD-gH/gL triplex. Now, we have identified the corresponding gD contact sites on gH/gL. Concurrently we discovered a novel mechanism whereby gH/gL antibodies stabilize the complex and inhibit fusion progression. Our model for the gD-gH/gL triplex provides a new framework for studying fusion, which identifies targets for vaccine development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere00983-20
JournalJournal of virology
Volume94
Issue number20
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 29 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology

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