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Principles of virus uncoating: cues and the snooker ball


Yamauchi, Yohei; Greber, Urs F (2016). Principles of virus uncoating: cues and the snooker ball. Traffic, 17(6):569-592.

Abstract

Viruses are spherical or complex shaped carriers of proteins, nucleic acids and sometimes lipids and sugars. They are metastable and poised for structural changes. These features allow viruses to communicate with host cells during entry, and to release the viral genome, a process known as uncoating. Studies have shown that hundreds of host factors directly or indirectly support this process. The cell provides molecules that promote stepwise virus uncoating, and direct the virus to the site of replication. It acts akin to a snooker player who delivers accurate and timely shots (cues) to the ball (virus) to score. The viruses, on the other hand, trick (snooker) the host, hijack its homeostasis systems, and dampen innate immune responses directed against danger signals. In this review, we discuss how cellular cues, facilitators, and built-in viral mechanisms promote uncoating. Cues come from receptors, enzymes, and chemicals that act directly on the virus particle to alter its structure, trafficking and infectivity. Facilitators are defined as host proteins that are involved in processes which indirectly enhance entry or uncoating. Unraveling the mechanisms of virus uncoating will continue to enhance understanding of cell functions, and help counteracting infections with chemicals and vaccines.

Abstract

Viruses are spherical or complex shaped carriers of proteins, nucleic acids and sometimes lipids and sugars. They are metastable and poised for structural changes. These features allow viruses to communicate with host cells during entry, and to release the viral genome, a process known as uncoating. Studies have shown that hundreds of host factors directly or indirectly support this process. The cell provides molecules that promote stepwise virus uncoating, and direct the virus to the site of replication. It acts akin to a snooker player who delivers accurate and timely shots (cues) to the ball (virus) to score. The viruses, on the other hand, trick (snooker) the host, hijack its homeostasis systems, and dampen innate immune responses directed against danger signals. In this review, we discuss how cellular cues, facilitators, and built-in viral mechanisms promote uncoating. Cues come from receptors, enzymes, and chemicals that act directly on the virus particle to alter its structure, trafficking and infectivity. Facilitators are defined as host proteins that are involved in processes which indirectly enhance entry or uncoating. Unraveling the mechanisms of virus uncoating will continue to enhance understanding of cell functions, and help counteracting infections with chemicals and vaccines.

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12 citations in Web of Science®
10 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Molecular Life Sciences
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
Language:English
Date:15 February 2016
Deposited On:01 Mar 2016 17:45
Last Modified:15 Feb 2017 01:00
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:1398-9219
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/tra.12387
PubMed ID:26875443

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