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EMBO J. 1998 Aug 17; 17(16): 4585–4593.
PMCID: PMC1170788

The clathrin endocytic pathway in viral infection.


How important is the clathrin-dependent endocytic pathway for entry of viruses into host cells? While it is widely accepted that Semliki Forest virus (SFV), an enveloped virus, requires this pathway there are conflicting data concerning the closely related Sindbis virus, as well as varying results with picornaviruses such as human rhinovirus 14 (HRV 14) and poliovirus. We have examined the entry mode of SFV, Sindbis virus, HRV 14 and poliovirus using a method that identifies single infected cells. This assay takes advantage of the observation that the clathrin-dependent endocytic pathway is specifically and potently arrested by overexpression of dynamin mutants that prevent clathrin-coated pit budding. Using HeLa cells and conditions of low multiplicity of infection to favor use of the most avid pathway of cell entry, it was found that SFV, Sindbis virus and HRV 14 require an active clathrin-dependent endocytic pathway for successful infection. In marked contrast, infection of HeLa cells by poliovirus did not appear to require the clathrin pathway.

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Selected References

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