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The role of nuclear pores and importins for herpes simplex virus infection.

Microtubule transport and nuclear import are functionally connected, and the nuclear pore complex (NPC) can interact with microtubule motors. For several alphaherpesvirus proteins, nuclear localization signals (NLSs) and their interactions with specific importin-α proteins have been characterized. Here, we review recent insights on the roles of microtubule motors, capsid-associated NLSs, and importin-α proteins for capsid transport, capsid docking to NPCs, and genome release into the nucleoplasm, as well as the role of importins for nuclear viral transcription, replication, capsid assembly, genome packaging, and nuclear capsid egress. Moreover, importin-α proteins exert antiviral effects by promoting the nuclear import of transcription factors inducing the expression of interferons (IFN), cytokines, and IFN-stimulated genes, and the IFN-inducible MxB restricts capsid docking to NPCs.

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