A team of Japanese researchers has uncovered one of the steps taken by the herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) to infect host cells, a finding that provides a new target for antiviral drug development (Arii J et al. Nature. 2010;467:859-862).
Although earlier work revealed that HSV-1 interacts with cellular receptors for the glycoproteins B and D that reside on the viral surface to gain entry into a host cell, not all entry receptors have been identified. In the new work, the investigators used a proteomics-based search for molecules interacting with HSV-1 and found that the protein non–muscle myosin heavy chain IIA (NMHC-IIA), a subunit of non–muscle myosin IIA, serves as a functional entry receptor that interacts with glycoprotein B.
Friedrich MJ. Barring the Door to HSV-1. JAMA. 2010;304(19):2116. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1669