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Entry of Alphaviruses

  • Margaret Kielian
  • Ari Helenius
Part of the The Viruses book series (VIRS)

Abstract

To replicate, viruses must deliver their genomes into the cytoplasm of a host cell, entailing the transport of large macromolecular assemblies through one or more membrane barriers. The problem is not a trivial one, in view of the large size and polar nature of the viral components to be delivered and the fact that both the cell and viral components must remain intact. It is not yet known how most viruses have solved this dilemma, but in the case of enveloped animal viruses, the overall pathway is becoming increasingly clear. The membranes of enveloped viruses serve as transport vesicles between infected cells and new host cells, and the process depends on well-regulated membrane fission and membrane fusion events. The membrane fission reaction occurs when the virus buds from a membrane of the infected host and the membrane fusion reaction when the virus interacts with a membrane of the recipient cell (Fig. 1). During the voyage between the two cells, the viral envelope serves to protect the nucleocapsid. As shown in Fig. 1, the fusion reaction responsible for releasing the genome into the host cell can occur either at the plasma membrane or in the organelles of the endocytotic pathway. The main advantage of this general mechanism seems to be that the genome and accessory proteins do not at any stage need to undergo a direct transfer through a bilayer membrane.

Keywords

Influenza Virus Membrane Fusion Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Coated Vesicle Semliki Forest Virus 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • Margaret Kielian
    • 1
  • Ari Helenius
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Cell BiologyYale School of MedicineNew HavenUSA

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