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Different Mechanisms of Cell Entry by Human-Pathogenic Old World and New World Arenaviruses ▿

By Jillian M. Rojek, Ana B. Sanchez, Ngoc Thao Nguyen, Juan-Carlos de la Torre and Stefan Kunz


The Old World arenavirus Lassa virus (LASV) is the causative agent of severe viral hemorrhagic fever (VHF) in humans and is the most prevalent human pathogen among arenaviruses. The present study investigated the largely unknown mechanisms of cell entry of LASV, a process know to be mediated solely by the virus envelope glycoprotein (GP). To circumvent biosafety restrictions associated with the use of live LASV, we used reverse genetics to generate a recombinant variant of the prototypic arenavirus lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) expressing the LASV GP (rLCMV-LASVGP). The rescued rLCMV-LASVGP grew to titers comparable to that of LCMV and showed the receptor binding characteristics of LASV. We used rLCMV-LASVGP to characterize the cellular mechanisms of LASV entry in the context of a productive arenavirus infection. The kinetics of pH-dependent membrane fusion of rLCMV-LASVGP resembled those of the human-pathogenic New World arenavirus Junin virus (JUNV) and other enveloped viruses that use clathrin-mediated endocytosis for entry. However, rLCMV-LASVGP entered cells predominantly via a clathrin-, caveolin-, and dynamin-independent endocytotic pathway similar to the one recently described for LCMV. Productive infection of rLCMV-LASVGP was only mildly affected by a dominant negative mutant of Rab5 and was independent of Rab7, suggesting an unusual mechanism of delivery to endosomes. In addition, rLCMV-LASVGP infection was independent of actin but required intact microtubules. Our data indicate that LASV enters cells via a pathway distinct from the one used by human-pathogenic New World arenaviruses

Topics: Virus-Cell Interactions
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology (ASM)
OAI identifier: oai:pubmedcentral.nih.gov:2493302
Provided by: PubMed Central
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