Open Access Hypothesis

Alphaherpesvirinae and Gammaherpesvirinae glycoprotein L and CMV UL130 originate from chemokines

Maja Malkowska1, Katarzyna Kokoszynska1, Magdalena Dymecka12, Leszek Rychlewski2 and Lucjan S Wyrwicz1*

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratory of Bioinformatics and Biostatistics, Maria Sklodowska-Curie Memorial Cancer Center and Institute of Oncology, WK Roentgena 5, 02-781, Warsaw, Poland

2 BioInfoBank Institute, Limanowskiego 24A, 60-744, Poznań, Poland

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Virology Journal 2013, 10:1  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-10-1

Published: 2 January 2013


Herpesviridae is a large family of DNA viruses divided into three subfamilies: Alpha-, Beta- and Gammaherpesvirinae. The process of herpesvirus transmission is mediated by a range of proteins, one of which is glycoprotein L (gL). Based on our analysis of the solved structures of HSV2 and EBV gH/gL complexes, we propose that Alphaherpesvirinae and Gammaherpesvirinae glycoprotein L and Betaherpesvirinae UL130 originate from chemokines. Herpes simplex virus type 2 gL and human cytomegalovirus homolog (UL130) adopt a novel C chemokine-like fold, while Epstein-Barr virus gL mimics a CC chemokine structure. Hence, it is possible that gL interface with specific chemokine receptors during the transmission of Herpesviridae. We conclude that the further understanding of the function of viral chemokine-like proteins in Herpesviridae infection may lead to development of novel prophylactic and therapeutic treatment.

Herpesviridae; Glycoprotein L; GL; UL130; Chemokines; HCMV; HSV2; EBV