Caister Academic Press

Retroviral Entry and Uncoating

Walther Mothes and Pradeep D. Uchil
from: Retroviruses: Molecular Biology, Genomics and Pathogenesis (Edited by: Reinhard Kurth and Norbert Bannert). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2010)


Retroviruses form small 100 nm particles of simple composition, yet are able to replicate, spread and cause severe diseases. This is possible, because throughout their replication cycle, retroviruses utilise host factors and hijack cellular pathways. In addition, retroviruses have to overcome a strong innate and adaptive immune response. As such, retroviral replication is the result of a complex co-evolution of viral biology, the cell biology of the host and immune evasion. This complex nature of retroviral infections also applies to the subject of this chapter, how retroviruses enter cells, uncoat to reverse transcribe and to deliver their genomes into the nucleus of the cell. We will discuss the viral aspects of entry, cover cell biological aspects of viral trafficking and deal with innate cellular factors targeting incoming viruses. Finally, we will review virus entry in the context of retroviral pathogenesis and discuss how virus entry and budding are coordinated at sites of cell-cell contact during a spreading infection read more ...
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