DNA mismatch repair proteins are required for efficient herpes simplex virus 1 replication

Kareem N. Mohni, Adam S. Mastrocola, Ping Bai, Sandra K. Weller, Christopher D. Heinen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) is a double-stranded DNA virus that replicates in the nucleus of its human host cell and is known to interact with many cellular DNA repair proteins. In this study, we examined the role of cellular mismatch repair (MMR) proteins in the virus life cycle. Both MSH2 and MLH1 are required for efficient replication of HSV-1 in normal human cells and are localized to viral replication compartments. In addition, a previously reported interaction between MSH6 and ICP8 was confirmed by coimmunoprecipitation and extended to show that UL12 is also present in this complex. We also report for the first time that MLH1 associates with ND10 nuclear bodies and that like other ND10 proteins, MLH1 is recruited to the incoming genome. Knockdown of MLH1 inhibits immediate-early viral gene expression. MSH2, on the other hand, which is generally thought to play a role in mismatch repair at a step prior to that of MLH1, is not recruited to incoming genomes and appears to act at a later step in the viral life cycle. Silencing of MSH2 appears to inhibit early gene expression. Thus, both MLH1 and MSH2 are required but appear to participate in distinct events in the virus life cycle. The observation that MLH1 plays an earlier role in HSV-1 infection than does MSH2 is surprising and may indicate a novel function for MLH1 distinct from its known MSH2-dependent role in mismatch repair.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)12241-12253
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number23
StatePublished - Dec 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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