DOI: 10.1101/456673Oct 30, 2018Paper

Infectious Entry of Merkel Cell Polyomavirus

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Miriam BeckerMario Schelhaas


Merkel Cell Polyomavirus (MCPyV) is a small, non-enveloped tumor virus associated with an aggressive form of skin cancer, the Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC). MCPyV infections are highly prevalent in the human population with MCPyV virions being continuously shed from human skin. However, the precise host cell tropism(s) of MCPyV remains unclear: MCPyV is able to replicate within a subset of dermal fibroblasts, but MCPyV DNA has also been detected in a variety of other tissues. However, MCPyV appears different from other polyomaviruses as it requires sulfated polysaccharides such as heparan sulfates and/or chondroitin sulfates for initial attachment. Like other polyomaviruses, MCPyV engages sialic acid as a (co-)receptor. To explore the infectious entry process of MCPyV, we analyzed the cell biological determinants of MCPyV entry into A549 cells, a highly transducible lung carcinoma cell line, in comparison to well-studied simian virus 40 and a number of other viruses. Our results indicate that MCPyV enters cells via caveolar/lipid raft-mediated endocytosis but not macropinocytosis, clathrin-mediated endocytosis or glycosphingolipid-enriched carriers. The viruses internalized in small endocytic pits that led the virus to endosomes ...Continue Reading

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