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Viruses 2011, 3(3), 233-253; doi:10.3390/v3030233

The Dynactin Complex Enhances the Speed of Microtubule-Dependent Motions of Adenovirus Both Towards and Away from the Nucleus

Institute of Molecular Life Sciences, University of Zurich, Zurich 8057, Switzerland
Molecular Life Sciences Graduate School, ETH and University of Zurich, Zurich 8057, Switzerland
Current Address: Department of Cell Biology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA.
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 10 February 2011 / Accepted: 28 February 2011 / Published: 9 March 2011
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cytoskeleton in Viral Infections)
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Unlike transport vesicles or organelles, human adenovirus (HAdV) directly binds to the microtubule minus end-directed motor dynein for transport to the nucleus. The dynein cofactor dynactin enhances nuclear transport of HAdV and boosts infection. To determine if dynactin has a specific role in cytoplasmic trafficking of incoming HAdV on microtubules, we used live cell spinning disc confocal microscopy at 25 Hz acquisition frequency and automated tracking of single virus particles at 20–50 nm spatial resolution. Computational dissection by machine-learning algorithms extracted specific motion patterns of viral trajectories. We found that unperturbed cells supported two kinds of microtubule-dependent motions, directed motions (DM) and fast drifts (FD). DM had speeds of 0.2 to 2 µm/s and run lengths of 0.4 up to 7 µm, while FD were slower and less extensive at 0.02 to 0.4 µm/s and 0.05 to 2.5 µm. Dynactin interference by overexpression of p50/dynamitin or a coiled-coil domain of p150/Glued reduced the speeds and amounts of both center- and periphery-directed DM but not FD, and inhibited infection. These results indicate that dynactin enhances adenovirus infection by increasing the speed and efficiency of dynein-mediated virus motion to the nucleus, and, surprisingly, also supports a hereto unknown motor activity for virus transport to the cell periphery.
Keywords: dynein; motor; cytoplasmic transport; cytoskeleton; virus motion; infection dynein; motor; cytoplasmic transport; cytoskeleton; virus motion; infection
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Engelke, M.F.; Burckhardt, C.J.; Morf, M.K.; Greber, U.F. The Dynactin Complex Enhances the Speed of Microtubule-Dependent Motions of Adenovirus Both Towards and Away from the Nucleus. Viruses 2011, 3, 233-253.

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