Insights into the function of tegument proteins from the varicella zoster virus

Wei Wang, Tong Cheng, Hua Zhu, Ning Shao Xia

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Chickenpox (varicella) is caused by primary infection with varicella zoster virus (VZV), which can establish long-term latency in the host ganglion. Once reactivated, the virus can cause shingles (zoster) in the host. VZV has a typical herpesvirus virion structure consisting of an inner DNA core, a capsid, a tegument, and an outer envelope. The tegument is an amorphous layer enclosed between the nucleocapsid and the envelope, which contains a variety of proteins. However, the types and functions of VZV tegument proteins have not yet been completely determined. In this review, we describe the current knowledge on the multiple roles played by VZV tegument proteins during viral infection. Moreover, we discuss the VZV tegument protein-protein interactions and their impact on viral tissue tropism in SCID-hu mice. This will help us develop a better understanding of how the tegument proteins aid viral DNA replication, evasion of host immune response, and pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)739-749
Number of pages11
JournalScience China Life Sciences
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 8 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences


  • VZV
  • tegument
  • varicella zoster virus


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