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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2004 Nov 9;101(45):16034-9. Epub 2004 Oct 25.

Local modulation of plus-end transport targets herpesvirus entry and egress in sensory axons.

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Department of Microbiology-Immunology, Ward Building, Room 10-105, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, IL 60611, USA.


The core structures of many viruses move within cells by association with host cytoskeletal motor proteins; however, the mechanisms by which intracellular viral particles are transported toward sites of replication or the cell periphery at distinct stages of infection remain to be understood. The regulation of herpesvirus directional transport in sensory neurons was examined by tracking individual viral capsids within axons at multiple frames per s. After entry into axons, capsids underwent bidirectional and saltatory movement to the cell body independently of endosomes. A comparison of entry transport to a previous analysis of capsid axonal transport during egress revealed that capsid targeting in and out of cells occurs by modulation of plus-end, but not minus-end, motion. Entry transport was unperturbed by the presence of egressing virus from a prior infection, indicating that transport direction is not modulated globally by viral gene expression, but rather directly by a component of the viral particle.

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