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Cell Microbiol. 2007 Apr;9(4):939-51. Epub 2006 Nov 28.

Budding of Marburgvirus is associated with filopodia.

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  • 1Institute of Virology, Marburg Philipps University, Marburg, Germany.


Viruses exploit the cytoskeleton of host cells to transport their components and spread to neighbouring cells. Here we show that the actin cytoskeleton is involved in the release of Marburgvirus (MARV) particles. We found that peripherally located nucleocapsids and envelope precursors of MARV are located either at the tip or at the side of filopodial actin bundles. Importantly, viral budding was almost exclusively detected at filopodia. Inhibiting actin polymerization in MARV-infected cells significantly diminished the amount of viral particles released into the medium. This suggested that dynamic polymerization of actin in filopodia is essential for efficient release of MARV. The viral matrix protein VP40 plays a key role in the release of MARV particles and we found that the intracellular localization of recombinant VP40 and its release in form of virus-like particles were strongly influenced by overexpression or inhibition of myosin 10 and Cdc42, proteins important in filopodia formation and function. We suggest that VP40, which is capable of interacting with viral nucleocapsids, provides an interface of MARV subviral particles and filopodia. As filopodia are in close contact with neighbouring cells, usurpation of these structures may facilitate spread of MARV to adjacent cells.

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