Herpes simplex virus type 2 glycoprotein h interacts with integrin αvβ3 to facilitate viral entry and calcium signaling in human genital tract epithelial cells

Natalia Cheshenko, Janie B. Trepanier, Pablo A. González, Eliseo Eugenin, William R. Jacobs, Betsy C. Herold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Scopus citations


Herpes simplex virus (HSV) entry requires multiple interactions at the cell surface and activation of a complex calcium signaling cascade. Previous studies demonstrated that integrins participate in this process, but their precise role has not been determined. These studies were designed to test the hypothesis that integrin αvβ3 signaling promotes the release of intracellular calcium (Ca2+) stores and contributes to viral entry and cell-to-cell spread. Transfection of cells with small interfering RNA (siRNA) targeting integrin αvβ3, but not other integrin subunits, or treatment with cilengitide, an Arg-Gly-Asp (RGD) mimetic, impaired HSV-induced Ca2+ release, viral entry, plaque formation, and cell-to-cell spread of HSV-1 and HSV-2 in human cervical and primary genital tract epithelial cells. Coimmunoprecipitation studies and proximity ligation assays indicated that integrin αvβ3 interacts with glycoprotein H (gH). An HSV-2 gH-null virus was engineered to further assess the role of gH in the virus-induced signaling cascade. The gH-2-null virus bound to cells and activated Akt to induce a small Ca2+ response at the plasma membrane, but it failed to trigger the release of cytoplasmic Ca2+ stores and was impaired for entry and cell-to-cell spread. Silencing of integrin αvβ3 and deletion of gH prevented phosphorylation of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) and the transport of viral capsids to the nuclear pore. Together, these findings demonstrate that integrin signaling is activated downstream of virus-induced Akt signaling and facilitates viral entry through interactions with gH by activating the release of intracellular Ca2+ and FAK phosphorylation. These findings suggest a new target for HSV treatment and suppression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10026-10038
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number17
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology

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