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Trends Cell Biol. 1996 May;6(5):189-95.

Nuclear targeting of SV40 and adenovirus.

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Dept of Zoology, Cell Biology Section, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland.


Import o f viral DNA into the nucleus is essential for the successful replication o f DNA tumour viruses. To achieve this goal, viruses have adapted strategies to traverse the barriers between the plasma membrane and the nucleus o f a host cell. Two DNA tumour viruses, simian virus 40 and adenovirus, achieve the nuclear-entry step in slightly different ways. SV40 DNA enters the nucleus through the nuclear pore complexes (NPCs) in apparently intact virions. By contrast, adenovirus particles dissociate near the NPC before the viral DNA is imported into the nucleus. In both cases, karyophilic protein components o f the viruses appear to mediate nuclear entry o f the viral genomes. In this article, we discuss how an understanding o f the cell biology o f virus entry can help us understand the process o f nuclear transport.


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