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© Andres Alcover
Scanning electron microscopy showing a conjugate formed between a T lymphocyte and an antigen presenting cell. It is worth noting the long shape of the T cell (Tc) polarized towards the antigen presenting cell (APC) and the membrane protrusions that adhere the T lymphocyte to the antigen presenting cell.
Publication : Nature medicine

Biofilm-like extracellular viral assemblies mediate HTLV-1 cell-to-cell transmission at virological synapses

Scientific Fields
Diseases
Organisms
Applications
Technique

Published in Nature medicine - 20 Dec 2009

Pais-Correia AM, Sachse M, Guadagnini S, Robbiati V, Lasserre R, Gessain A, Gout O, Alcover A, Thoulouze MI

Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 20023636

Nat. Med. 2010 Jan;16(1):83-9

Human T cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is a lymphotropic retrovirus whose cell-to-cell transmission requires cell contacts. HTLV-1-infected T lymphocytes form ‘virological synapses’, but the mechanism of HTLV-1 transmission remains poorly understood. We show here that HTLV-1-infected T lymphocytes transiently store viral particles as carbohydrate-rich extracellular assemblies that are held together and attached to the cell surface by virally-induced extracellular matrix components, including collagen and agrin, and cellular linker proteins, such as tetherin and galectin-3. Extracellular viral assemblies rapidly adhere to other cells upon cell contact, allowing virus spread and infection of target cells. Their removal strongly reduces the ability of HTLV-1-producing cells to infect target cells. Our findings unveil a novel virus transmission mechanism based on the generation of extracellular viral particle assemblies whose structure, composition and function resemble those of bacterial biofilms. HTLV-1 biofilm-like structures represent a major route for virus transmission from cell to cell.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20023636