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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Jan 6;106(1):163-8. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0811631106. Epub 2008 Dec 24.

A role for the host coatomer and KDEL receptor in early vaccinia biogenesis.

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  • 1Division of Rheumatology, Immunology, and Allergy, Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Department of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.


Members of the poxvirus family have been investigated for their applications as vaccines and expression vectors and, more recently, because of concern for their potential as biological weapons. Vaccinia virus, the prototypic member, evolves through multiple forms during its replication. Here, we show a surprising way by which vaccinia hijacks coatomer for early viral biogenesis. Whereas coatomer forms COPI vesicles in the host early secretory system, vaccinia formation bypasses this role of coatomer, but instead, depends on coatomer interacting with the host KDEL receptor. To gain insight into the viral roles of these two host proteins, we have detected them on the earliest recognized viral forms. These findings not only suggest insights into early vaccinia biogenesis but also reveal an alternate mechanism by which coatomer acts.

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