Cooperativity of Actin and Microtubule Elements During Replication of Respiratory Syncytial Virus

Virology. 2005 Jan 5;331(1):73-81. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2004.10.010.


Many paramyxoviruses appear to require cytoskeletal elements for particular steps in the virus life cycle. Measles virus and Sendai virus exhibit a requirement for microtubules in replication in vitro, whereas parainfluenza virus type 3 and RSV require actin for replication. To further elucidate the role of cytoskeletal function and rearrangement in the viral life cycle of RSV, we investigated the efficiency of virus entry, transcription, replication, and budding in the presence of a variety of pharmacological agents that stabilize or depolymerize actin or microtubules. We found that alteration of microtubule or actin function resulted in blocks at entry, formation of cell-associated virus, virus release, local cell-to-cell spread, and syncytium formation. Actin and microtubules act in cooperation to facilitate replication of RSV, although microtubules play a dominant role in the formation of cell-associated virus while actin plays a more prominent role in virus release.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Actins / drug effects
  • Actins / physiology*
  • Cell Line
  • Humans
  • Microtubules / drug effects
  • Microtubules / physiology*
  • Respiratory Syncytial Viruses / drug effects
  • Respiratory Syncytial Viruses / physiology*
  • Transcription, Genetic / physiology
  • Virus Assembly / physiology
  • Virus Replication / drug effects
  • Virus Replication / physiology*


  • Actins