Most laboratory-adapted strains of influenza virus exist as spheres of approximately 100 nm in diameter, which are well established to enter cells by endocytosis in a pH-dependent manner. However, influenza virus isolated from the lungs of infected individuals is believed to exist as predominantly filamentous particles, up to several micrometers in length. Here, we have attempted an initial characterization of the entry of purified influenza virus filaments into host cells – in comparison to more commonly studied spherical forms of the virus. We demonstrate that the internalization of filamentous influenza virus particles is delayed, relative to spherical particles, and that this delay is a result of morphological rather than strain differences. The filamentous influenza particles appear to retain their dependence on low-pH for entry, as demonstrated by a vacuolar-ATPase inhibitor, and viral trafficking to late endosomes, as demonstrated by the requirement for protein kinase C function. However, our data suggest that the endocytic uptake of the filamentous virus particles may be dynamin-independent, unlike spherical virions. Overall, these data provide a view of the entry of influenza virus in its filamentous morphology, demonstrating potential differences between the endocytosis of spherical virions in vitro and filamentous virions in vivo.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 1, 2005
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