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Virology. 2008 Sep 1;378(2):265-71. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2008.05.028. Epub 2008 Jul 14.

Human herpesvirus-6 infection induces the reorganization of membrane microdomains in target cells, which are required for virus entry.

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Laboratory of Virology and Vaccinology, Division of Biomedical Research, National Institute of Biomedical Innovation, 7-6-8, Saito-Asagi, Ibaraki, Osaka 567-0085, Japan.


Cell-membrane raft microdomains are important for successful infection by several viruses. However, their role in the cell-entry process of human herpesvirus-6 (HHV-6) is unknown. Here we tested whether HHV-6 requires cell-membrane rafts for its entry. When cell-membrane rafts were disrupted by cholesterol depletion, target-cell entry by HHV-6 was inhibited, although the virus bound normally to the cells. HHV-6 infectivity was partially rescued by adding exogenous cholesterol. Interestingly, the HHV-6 cellular receptor, CD46, was found in the rafts after virus attachment, but not in the rafts of uninfected cells, indicating that HHV-6 infection induces the re-location of its receptor into the rafts. Furthermore, glycoprotein Q1, part of a viral glycoprotein complex that binds CD46, was also associated with rafts immediately after infection. These data suggest that cellular-membrane lipid rafts are important in viral entry and that HHV-6 may enter the target cells via the rafts.

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