, Volume 186, Issue 1, pp 1-9

Internalization of human rhinovirus 14 into HeLa and ICAM-1-transfected BHK cells

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Virus adsorption and uptake of human rhinovirus 14 (HRV14) were studied with HeLa cells and baby hamster kidney (BHK) cells which were transfected with the HRV14 receptor intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1). Transmission electron microscopy of HeLa cells revealed that HRV14 was internalized via clathrin-coated pits and -coated vesicles. A minority of virus particles also used uncoated vesicles for entry. The internalization showed the characteristics of receptor-mediated endocytosis. Presence of the carboxylic ionophore monensin inhibited viral uncoating, indicating a pH-dependent entry mechanism. The expression of ICAM-1 on the surface of the ICAM-1 transfected baby hamster kidney cells (BHK-ICAM cells) allowed extensive virus adsorption and internalization through membrane channels. Virus particles were lined up in these channels like pearls on a string, but did not induce a productive infection. Although ICAM-1 was expressed to the same degree on BHK-ICAM and HeLa cells, HRV14 induced neither viral protein and RNA syntheses nor infectious virus progeny in BHK-ICAM cells. ICAM-1 on the transfected BHK cells was a functional active receptor as it rendered these cells permissive to coxsackievirus A21. These results suggest that HRV14 uptake into BHK-ICAM cells is blocked directly in or shortly after its final step of internalization, the uncoating. Our findings underline that the receptor ICAM-1 determines virus uptake into cells, however, is not sufficient to confer susceptibility of BHK cells to HRV14 infection.

Received: 11 October 1996