IUBio GIL .. BIOSCI/Bionet News .. Biosequences .. Software .. FTP

Viral attachment.

A.J.Cann nna at leicester.ac.uk
Mon Oct 13 11:34:06 EST 1997

In article <61qtpp$3a7 at net.bio.net>, Leonard Pattenden
<ddlpatte at mailbox.uq.edu.au> wrote:

>G'day everyone;
>              There is an idea which has been put to me, and I thought I
>might post it to see what other peoples views might be. It is as follows:-
>The surface of a cell has a net charge which is of the same type as a
>viral surface. So for a virus to find a receptor or protein which it can
>form an attachment with, it must scan the surface of the cell. This is
>achieved by Brownian motion - ie the virus oscillates in a localised area.
>First of all - are their any feelings for or against this view?
>Secondly - How exactly does the virus find the target? Is there slightly
>less repulsion in one area for migration? Does electrostatic forces
>dictate the attachment? Is the range being described here close enough for
>electrostatic attraction?

Yes! (Enveloped) virus particles & eukaryotic cells both tend to have a net
negative electrical charge - not surprising since the envelope is derived
from the surface of the host cell. It is quite common practice for
virologists to use  multivalent cations such as polybrene when infecting
cells to decrease the repulsion between virus & cells, thus promoting
attachment & increasing the efficiency of plating.

Dr Alan J. Cann  PhD, Department of Microbiology & Immunology,
University of Leicester, UK.

More information about the Virology mailing list

Send comments to us at archive@iubioarchive.bio.net