A "Driver Switchover" Mechanism of Influenza Virus Transport from Microfilaments to Microtubules.

When infecting host cells, influenza virus must move on microfilaments (MFs) at the cell periphery and then move along microtubules (MTs) through the cytosol to reach the perinuclear region for genome release. But how viruses switch from the actin roadway to the microtubule highway remains obscure. To settle this issue, we systematically dissected the role of related motor proteins in the transport of influenza virus between cytoskeletal filaments in situ and in real-time using quantum dot (QD)-based single-virus tracking (SVT) and multicolor imaging. We found that the switch between MF- and MT-based retrograde motor proteins, myosin VI (myoVI) and dynein, was responsible for the seamless transport of viruses from MFs to MTs during their infection. After virus entry by endocytosis, both the two types of motor proteins are attached to virus-carrying vesicles. MyoVI drives the viruses on MFs with dynein on the virus-carrying vesicle hitchhiking. After role exchanges at actin-microtubule intersections, dynein drives the virus along MTs toward the perinuclear region with myoVI remaining on the vesicle moving together. Such a "driver switchover" mechanism has answered the long-pending question of how viruses switch from MFs to MTs for their infection. It will also facilitate in-depth understanding of endocytosis.
Zhang LJ, et al. A "Driver Switchover" Mechanism of Influenza Virus Transport from Microfilaments toMicrotubules. ACS Nano. 2018 Jan 23;12(1):474-484. doi: 10.1021/acsnano.7b06926. 
Epub 2017 Dec 15. PubMed PMID: 29232101.


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