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EMBO J. 1984 Sep;3(9):1945-50.

Requirements for entry of poliovirus RNA into cells at low pH.


HeLa S3 cells were protected against infection by poliovirus type I by the presence of monensin and N,N'-dicyclohexylcarbodiimide (DCCD), compounds elevating the pH of acidic intracellular compartments. The protection was fully overcome by exposing the cells to pH 5.5 and lower, and at approximately pH 6.1 it was reduced by half. Measurements of the ability of the virus to enter the detergent phase under conditions where Triton X-114 was separated from water indicated that the virus is hydrophilic at neutral pH, and that it exposes hydrophobic regions at low pH. When the cells were pretreated with acetic acid, which reduces the intracellular pH, virus entry was inhibited, indicating that a pH gradient across the membrane is necessary for infection. Under all conditions which induced infection, the virus particles were altered to more slowly sedimenting material. Also, virus bound to aldehyde-fixed cells was altered when exposed to low pH at 37 degrees C. The data indicate that poliovirus bound to receptors on cells exposes hydrophobic regions at low pH, and that at physiological temperature it undergoes alteration. This alteration may be a necessary, but not sufficient requirement for infection.

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