Viral infection of a host cell requires mechanisms to facilitate the pathogen entering the cell, reaching its replication site, and leaving the cell to propagate the infection. Intracellular virus trafficking depends on the interaction of viral proteins with cellular components, particularly the cytoskeleton, but the specific mechanisms employed by viruses to hijack the actin and microtubule networks have been unclear. In the August 15 Journal of Cell Science, Coralie Petit and colleagues at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique reveal at the molecular level how a model virus moves around the cell (Journal of Cell Science, 116:3433-3442, August 15, 2003).

Petit et al. focused on the intracellular motions of foamy virus, a group of complex animal retroviruses. Having previously shown that incoming viral proteins reach the microtubule organizing center (MTOC)—or centrosome—prior to nuclear translocation of the viral genome, they examined the status of the viral...

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