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FEBS Lett. 2007 Nov 27;581(28):5349-54. Epub 2007 Oct 29.

Role of AF6 protein in cell-to-cell spread of Herpes simplex virus 1.

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Institute of Medical Virology, University of Zurich, Gloriastrasse 30, CH-8006 Zurich, Switzerland.


AF6 and its rat homologue afadin are multidomain proteins localized at cell junctions and involved in intercellular adhesion. AF6 interacts via its PDZ domain with nectin-1 at epithelial adherens junctions. Nectin-1 serves as a mediator of cell-to-cell spread for Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1). We analyzed the role of AF6 protein in the viral spread and nectin-1 clustering at cell-cell contacts by knockdown of AF6 in epithelial cells. AF6 knockdown reduced efficiency of HSV-1 spreading, however, the clustering of nectin-1 at cell-cell contacts was not affected. Thus, AF6 protein is important for spreading of HSV-1 in epithelial cells, independently of nectin clustering, possibly by stabilization of the E-cadherin-dependent cell adhesion.

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