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Intracellular Transport of Viruses and Their Components: Utilizing the Cytoskeleton and Membrane Highways

November 2010 , Volume 23 , Number  11
Pages  1,381 - 1,393

Phillip A. Harries,1 James E. Schoelz,2 and Richard S. Nelson3

1Department of Biology, Pittsburg State University, Pittsburg, KS 66762, U.S.A.; 2Department of Plant Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia 65211, U.S.A.; 3Plant Biology Division, Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation, Inc., Ardmore, OK 73401, U.S.A.

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Accepted 8 July 2010.

Plant viruses are obligate organisms that require host components for movement within and between cells. A mechanistic understanding of virus movement will allow the identification of new methods to control virus systemic spread and serve as a model system for understanding host macromolecule intra- and intercellular transport. Recent studies have moved beyond the identification of virus proteins involved in virus movement and their effect on plasmodesmal size exclusion limits to the analysis of their interactions with host components to allow movement within and between cells. It is clear that individual virus proteins and replication complexes associate with and, in some cases, traffic along the host cytoskeleton and membranes. Here, we review these recent findings, highlighting the diverse associations observed between these components and their trafficking capacity. Plant viruses operate individually, sometimes within virus species, to utilize unique interactions between their proteins or complexes and individual host cytoskeletal or membrane elements over time or space for their movement. However, there is not sufficient information for any plant virus to create a complete model of its intracellular movement; thus, more research is needed to achieve that goal.

© 2010 The American Phytopathological Society