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Viruses 2015, 7(6), 3261-3284;

Viral Membrane Channels: Role and Function in the Virus Life Cycle

Department of Microbiology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University Health System (NUHS), National University of Singapore, MD4, Level 3, 5 Science Drive 2, Singapore 117597, Singapore
Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A * STAR), Singapore 138673, Singapore
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Jose Luis Nieva and Luis Carrasco
Received: 11 April 2015 / Revised: 20 May 2015 / Accepted: 12 June 2015 / Published: 23 June 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Viroporins)
Full-Text   |   PDF [363 KB, uploaded 23 June 2015]   |  


Viroporins are small, hydrophobic trans-membrane viral proteins that oligomerize to form hydrophilic pores in the host cell membranes. These proteins are crucial for the pathogenicity and replication of viruses as they aid in various stages of the viral life cycle, from genome uncoating to viral release. In addition, the ion channel activity of viroporin causes disruption in the cellular ion homeostasis, in particular the calcium ion. Fluctuation in the calcium level triggers the activation of the host defensive programmed cell death pathways as well as the inflammasome, which in turn are being subverted for the viruses’ replication benefits. This review article summarizes recent developments in the functional investigation of viroporins from various viruses and their contributions to viral replication and virulence. View Full-Text
Keywords: viroporin; cytopathic effect; viral channel viroporin; cytopathic effect; viral channel

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Sze, C.; Tan, Y.-J. Viral Membrane Channels: Role and Function in the Virus Life Cycle. Viruses 2015, 7, 3261-3284.

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