Journal of virology

Invasion of host cells by JC virus identifies a novel role for caveolae in endosomal sorting of noncaveolar ligands.

PMID 16973546


Invasion of glial cells by the human polyomavirus, JC virus (JCV), leads to a rapidly progressing and uniformly fatal demyelinating disease known as progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy. The endocytic trafficking steps used by JCV to invade cells and initiate infection are not known. We demonstrated that JCV infection was inhibited by dominant defective and constitutively active Rab5-GTPase mutants that acted at distinct steps in endosomal sorting. We also found that labeled JCV colocalized with labeled cholera toxin B and with caveolin-1 (cav-1) on early endosomes following internalization by clathrin-dependent endocytosis. JCV entry and infection were both inhibited by dominant defective mutants of eps15 and Rab5-GTPase. Expression of a dominant-negative scaffolding mutant of cav-1 did not inhibit entry or infection by JCV. A single-cell knockdown experiment using cav-1 shRNA did not inhibit JCV entry but interfered with a downstream trafficking event important for infection. These data show that JCV enters cells by clathrin-dependent endocytosis, is transported immediately to early endosomes, and is then sorted to a caveolin-1-positive endosomal compartment. This latter step is dependent on Rab5-GTPase, cholesterol, caveolin-1, and pH. This is the first example of a ligand that enters cells by clathrin-dependent endocytosis and is then sorted from early endosomes to caveosomes, indicating that caveolae-derived vesicles play a more important role than previously realized in sorting cargo from early endosomes.

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