Caught in the Act

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Science  06 Oct 2006:
Vol. 314, Issue 5796, pp. 19
DOI: 10.1126/science.314.5796.19c

Real-time intracellular imaging allows detailed visualization of viral entry mechanisms. Arhel et al. have attached a tetracysteine tag to the integrase protein of human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1). The tagged viruses retain infectivity and can be labeled with a fluorophore, allowing real-time tracking of individual viral DNA-containing complexes in the cytoplasm and nucleus of human cells. Before entering the nucleus, the viral particles exhibited actin- and microtubule-based movement from the periphery toward the nucleus. Their mobility was restrained as they docked with and crossed the nuclear envelope, and the particles were then able to move diffusively once inside the nucleus itself. This type of technology will be important for identifying the itineraries of viruses during infection and for testing potential interventions that would interfere with the establishment of productive infections. — SMH

Nat. Methods 3, 817 (2006).

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