Virion Display: A High-Throughput Method to Express Functional Membrane Proteins

Guan Da Syu, Eric Johansen, Heng Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Transmembrane proteins are responsible for many critical cellular functions and represent one of the largest families of drug targets. However, these proteins, especially multipass transmembrane proteins, are difficult to study because they must be embedded in a lipid bilayer to maintain their native conformations. The development of the virion display (VirD) technology enables transmembrane proteins to be integrated into the viral envelope of herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1). Combining high-throughput cloning, expression, and purification techniques, VirD technology has been applied to the largest set of human transmembrane proteins, namely G-protein-coupled receptors, and has allowed the identification of interactions that are both specific and functional. This article describes the procedures to integrate an open reading frame for any transmembrane protein into the HSV-1 genome and produce recombinant HSV-1 virus to ultimately generate pure VirD virions for biological and pharmaceutical studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere126
JournalCurrent protocols in molecular biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020


  • HSV-1
  • membrane protein
  • transmembrane
  • virion display

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology


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