Transport of African swine fever virus from assembly sites to the plasma membrane is dependent on microtubules and conventional kinesin

Nolween Jouvenet, Paul Monaghan, Michael Way, Thomas E. Wileman

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African swine fever virus (ASFV) is a large DNA virus that assembles in perinuclear viral factories located close to the microtubule organizing center. In this study, we have investigated the mechanism by which ASFV reaches the cell surface from the site of assembly. Immunofluorescence microscopy revealed that at 16 h postinfection, mature virions were aligned along microtubules. Furthermore, virus movement to the cell periphery was inhibited when microtubules were depolymerized by nocodazole. In addition, ASFV infection resulted in the increased acetylation of microtubules as well as their protection against depolymerization by nocodazole. Immunofluorescence microscopy showed that conventional kinesin was recruited to virus factories and to a large fraction of virus particles in the cytoplasm. Consistent with a role for conventional kinesin during ASFV egress to the cell periphery, overexpression of the cargo-binding domain of the kinesin light chain severely inhibited the movement of particles to the plasma membrane. Based on our observations, we propose that ASFV is recognized as cargo by conventional kinesin and uses this plus-end microtubule motor to move from perinuclear assembly sites to the plasma membrane.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7990-8001
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2004

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