More than one door - Budding of enveloped viruses through cellular membranes

FEBS Lett. 2007 May 22;581(11):2089-97. doi: 10.1016/j.febslet.2007.03.060. Epub 2007 Mar 30.


Enveloped viruses exit their host cell by budding from a cellular membrane and thereby spread from one cell to another. Virus budding in general involves the distortion of a cellular membrane away from the cytoplasm, envelopment of the viral capsid by one or more lipid bilayers that are enriched in viral membrane glycoproteins, and a fission event that separates the enveloped virion from the cellular membrane. While it was initially thought that virus budding is always driven by viral transmembrane proteins interacting with the inner structural proteins, it is now clear that the driving force may be different depending on the virus. Research over the past years has shown that viral components specifically interact with host cell lipids and proteins, thereby adopting cellular functions and pathways to facilitate virus release. This review summarizes the current knowledge of the cellular membrane systems that serve as viral budding sites and of the viral and cellular factors involved in budding. One of the best studied cellular machineries required for virus egress is the ESCRT complex, which will be described in more detail.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism*
  • Exocytosis / physiology
  • Humans
  • Membrane Microdomains / metabolism
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / metabolism
  • Viral Matrix Proteins / metabolism
  • Virus Replication / physiology*
  • Viruses / metabolism*


  • Viral Envelope Proteins
  • Viral Matrix Proteins