Ronald Harty
While some viruses burst out of a host cell after shredding it open, others depart in a more genteel fashion. They assemble at the plasma membrane and, form lollipop-shaped protuberances. Then each virus pinches off a piece of membrane that will clothe it as it seeks a new cell to infect. Unlike lysis, this process, known as budding, doesn't kill the host cell. Instead, many viruses that bud--the list includes HIV, Rous sarcoma virus (RSV), rabies virus, and Ebola virus--wreak havoc by promoting apoptosis or cancer.

Though budding is crucial to the spread of infection, it remains poorly understood. That's why three papers in the November 21 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) are so significant. Building upon discoveries over the past decade about certain retrovirus proteins, these papers (cited below) are the first to directly link budding to the ubiquitin/proteasome...

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