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The paradigm that viruses can move directly, and in some cases covertly, between contacting target cells is now well established for several virus families. The underlying mechanisms of cell-to-cell spread, however, remain to be fully elucidated and may differ substantially depending on the viral exit/entry route and the cellular tropism. Here, two divergent cell-to-cell spread mechanisms are exemplified: firstly by human retroviruses, which rely upon transient adhesive structures that form between polarized immune cells termed virological synapses, and secondly by herpesviruses that depend predominantly on pre-existing stable cellular contacts, but may also form virological synapses. Plant viruses can also spread directly between contacting cells, but are obliged by the rigid host cell wall to move across pore structures termed plasmodesmata. This review will focus primarily on recent advances in our understanding of animal virus cell-to-cell spread using examples from these two virus families, and will conclude by comparing and contrasting the cell-to-cell spread of animal and plant viruses.

Original publication

DOI

10.1016/j.coviro.2011.09.004

Type

Journal article

Journal

Curr Opin Virol

Publication Date

11/2011

Volume

1

Pages

396 - 402

Keywords

Animals, Humans, Plant Diseases, Plant Viruses, Virus Diseases, Virus Physiological Phenomena, Viruses