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Editorial: Physical Virology and the Nature of Virus Infections

  • Urs F. GreberEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 1215)

Abstract

Virus particles, ‘virions’, range in size from nano-scale to micro-scale. They have many different shapes and are composed of proteins, sugars, nucleic acids, lipids, water and solutes. Virions are autonomous entities and affect all forms of life in a parasitic relationship. They infect prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells. The physical properties of virions are tuned to the way they interact with cells. When virions interact with cells, they gain huge complexity and give rise to an infected cell, also known as ‘virus’. Virion–cell interactions entail the processes of entry, replication and assembly, as well as egress from the infected cell. Collectively, these steps can result in progeny virions, which is a productive infection, or in silencing of the virus, an abortive or latent infection. This book explores facets of the physical nature of virions and viruses and the impact of mechanical properties on infection processes at the cellular and subcellular levels.

Keywords

Physics Cell biology Virus Virion Computational virology Modelling Tracking Trafficking Uncoating Genome release Reverse transcription Structural evolution Viral lineage Active matter Liquid unmixing Inclusion bodies Virion morphogenesis Maturation Mechanical properties Stiffness Pressure Water wire Acidic pH Alkaline pH Proton diode Anisotropic mechanics 

Notes

Acknowledgement

I would like to thank all the authors for their valuable contributions, the reviewers of the chapters for insightful and constructive comments and Maarit Suomalainen for comments to the editorial text.

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Molecular Life SciencesUniversity of ZurichZurichSwitzerland

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