Varicella-zoster virus ORF7 interacts with ORF53 and plays a role in its trans-Golgi network localization

Wei Wang, Wenkun Fu, Dequan Pan, Linli Cai, Jianghui Ye, Jian Liu, Che Liu, Yuqiong Que, Ningshao Xia, Hua Zhu, Tong Cheng

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5 Scopus citations


Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) is a neurotropic alphaherpesvirus that causes chickenpox and shingles. ORF7 is an important virulence determinant of VZV in both human skin and nerve tissues, however, its specific function and involved molecular mechanism in VZV pathogenesis remain largely elusive. Previous yeast two-hybrid studies on intraviral protein-protein interaction network in herpesviruses have revealed that VZV ORF7 may interact with ORF53, which is a virtually unstudied but essential viral protein. The aim of this study is to identify and characterize VZV ORF53, and to investigate its relationship with ORF7. For this purpose, we prepared monoclonal antibodies against ORF53 and, for the first time, characterized it as a ~40 kDa viral protein predominantly localizing to the trans-Golgi network of the infected host cell. Next, we further confirmed the interaction between ORF7 and ORF53 by co-immunoprecipitation and co-localization studies in both plasmid-transfected and VZV-infected cells. Moreover, interestingly, we found that ORF53 lost its trans-Golgi network localization and became dispersed in the cytoplasm of host cells infected with an ORF7-deleted recombinant VZV, and thus ORF7 seems to play a role in normal subcellular localization of ORF53. Collectively, these results suggested that ORF7 and ORF53 may function as a complex during infection, which may be implicated in VZV pathogenesis.[Figure not available: see fulltext.].

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-395
Number of pages9
JournalVirologica Sinica
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Immunology
  • Molecular Medicine
  • Virology


  • ORF53
  • ORF7
  • protein-protein interaction
  • trans-Golgi network
  • varicella-zoster virus (VZV)


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