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Following receptor-mediated uptake into endocytic vesicles and subsequent escape, adenovirus particles are transported along microtubules. The microtubule motor proteins dynein and one or more kinesins are involved in this behavior. Dynein is implicated in adenovirus transport toward the nucleus. The kinesin Kif5B has now been found to move the adenovirus (AdV) toward microtubule plus ends, though a kinesin role in adenovirus-induced nuclear pore disruption has also been reported. In undifferentiated cells, dynein-mediated transport predominates early in infection, but motility becomes bidirectional with time. The latter behavior can be modeled as a novel assisted diffusion mechanism, which may allow virus particles to explore the cytoplasm more efficiently. Cytoplasmic dynein and Kif5B have both been found to bind AdV through direct interactions with the capsid proteins hexon and penton base, respectively. We review here the roles of the microtubule motor proteins in AdV infection, the relationship between motor protein recruitment to pathogenic vs. physiological cargoes, the evolutionary origins of microtubule-mediated AdV transport, and a role for the motor proteins in a novel host-defense mechanism. © 2020 Federation of European Biochemical Societies.


Julian Scherer, Julie Yi, Richard B Vallee. Role of cytoplasmic dynein and kinesins in adenovirus transport. FEBS letters. 2020 Jun;594(12):1838-1847

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PMID: 32215924

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