Following entry into the host cell, retroviruses generate a dsDNA copy of their genomes via reverse transcription, and this viral DNA is subsequently integrated into the chromosomal DNA of the host cell. Before integration can occur, however, retroviral DNA must be transported to the nucleus as part of a ‘preintegration complex’ (PIC). Transporting the PIC through the crowded environment of the cytoplasm is challenging, and retroviruses have evolved different mechanisms to accomplish this feat. Within a eukaryotic cell, microtubules act as the roads, while the microtubule-associated proteins dynein and kinesin are the vehicles that viruses exploit to achieve retrograde and anterograde trafficking. This review will examine the various mechanisms retroviruses have evolved in order to achieve retrograde trafficking, confirming that each retrovirus has its own strategy to functionally subvert microtubule associated proteins.
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