Cell-to-cell movement and assembly of a plant closterovirus: Roles for the capsid proteins and Hsp70 homolog

Dina V. Alzhanova, Alberto J. Napuli, Rebecca Creamer, Valerian V. Dolja

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

144 Scopus citations


Diverse animal and plant viruses are able to translocate their virions between neighboring cells via intercellular connections. In this work, we analyze the virion assembly and cell-to-cell movement of a plant closterovirus and reveal a strong correlation between these two processes. The filamentous virions of a closterovirus possess a long body formed by the major capsid protein (CP) and a short tail formed by the minor capsid protein (CPm). Genetic and biochemical analyses show that the functions of these virion components are distinct. A virion body is required primarily for genome protection, whereas a tail represents a specialized device for cell-to-cell movement. Furthermore, tail assembly is mediated by the viral Hsp70 homolog (Hsp70h) that becomes an integral part of the virion. Inactivation of the ATPase domain of Hsp70h results in assembly of tailless virions that are incapable of translocation. A dual role for the viral molecular chaperone Hsp70h in virion assembly and transport, combined with the previous finding of this protein in intercellular channels, allowed us to propose a model of closteroviral movement from cell to cell.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6997-7007
Number of pages11
JournalEMBO Journal
Issue number24
StatePublished - Dec 17 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Cell-to-cell movement
  • Closterovirus
  • Hsp70
  • Virion assembly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Immunology and Microbiology


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