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Cell. 2007 Nov 2;131(3):516-29.

Simian Virus 40 depends on ER protein folding and quality control factors for entry into host cells.

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  • 1Institute of Biochemistry, Schafmattstrasse 18, ETH Hoenggerberg, ETH Zurich, CH-8093, Zurich, Switzerland.


Cell entry of Simian Virus 40 (SV40) involves caveolar/lipid raft-mediated endocytosis, vesicular transport to the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), translocation into the cytosol, and import into the nucleus. We analyzed the effects of ER-associated processes and factors on infection and on isolated viruses and found that SV40 makes use of the thiol-disulfide oxidoreductases, ERp57 and PDI, as well as the retrotranslocation proteins Derlin-1 and Sel1L. ERp57 isomerizes specific interchain disulfides connecting the major capsid protein, VP1, to a crosslinked network of neighbors, thus uncoupling about 12 of 72 VP1 pentamers. Cryo-electron tomography indicated that loss of interchain disulfides coupled with calcium depletion induces selective dissociation of the 12 vertex pentamers, a step likely to mimic uncoating of the virus in the cytosol. Thus, the virus utilizes the protein folding machinery for initial uncoating before exploiting the ER-associated degradation machinery presumably to escape from the ER lumen into the cytosol.

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