How viruses enter cells is of critical importance to pathogenesis in the host and for treatment strategies. Over the last several years, the herpesvirus field has made numerous and thoroughly fascinating discoveries about the entry of alpha-, beta-, and gamma-herpesviruses, giving rise to knowledge of entry at the amino acid level and the realization that, in some cases, researchers had overlooked whole sets of molecules essential for entry into critical cell types. Herpesviruses come equipped with multiple envelope glycoproteins which have several roles in many aspects of infection. For herpesvirus entry, it is usual that a collective of glycoproteins is involved in attachment to the cell surface, specific interactions then take place between viral glycoproteins and host cell receptors, and then molecular interactions and triggers occur, ultimately leading to viral envelope fusion with the host cell membrane. The fact that there are multiple cell and virus molecules involved with the build-up to fusion enhances the diversity and specificity of target cell types, the cellular entry pathways the virus commandeers, and the final triggers of fusion. This review will examine discoveries relating to how Kaposi’s sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV) encounters and binds to critical cell types, how cells internalize the virus, and how the fusion may occur between the viral membrane and the host cell membrane. Particular focus is given to viral glycoproteins and what is known about their mechanisms of action.
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