Cell Biology

Surf's Up

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Science  05 Aug 2005:
Vol. 309, Issue 5736, pp. 853
DOI: 10.1126/science.309.5736.853a

In order to infect a target cell, enveloped animal viruses must gain access to the cell's interior. The early stage of virus infection involves attachment to the cell surface and is frequently followed by endocytosis. Often, viruses are seen to bind to cellular extensions such as microvilli or filopodia. Lehmann et al. asked whether such binding is a productive interaction for the virus, which needs to access the cell body (which can be far away) for successful infection. In vivo imaging studies revealed that after viruses bind to filopodia, they travel in a surfing type of movement along the cell surface toward the cell body, where they then can enter the cell. Filopodia are filled with actin microfilaments, and it is these filaments, in conjunction with cellular myosin II, that promote virus surfing. Disruption of surfing can reduce the efficiency of viral infection. — SMH

J. Cell Biol. 170, 317 (2005).

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