Polarized sorting of viral glycoproteins to the axon and dendrites of hippocampal neurons in culture

Cell. 1990 Jul 13;62(1):63-72. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(90)90240-f.


Cultured hippocampal neurons were infected with a temperature-sensitive mutant of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) and a wild-type strain of the avian influenza fowl plague virus (FPV). The intracellular distribution of viral glycoproteins was monitored by immunofluorescence microscopy. In mature, fully polarized neurons the VSV glycoprotein (a basolateral protein in epithelial MDCK cells) moved from the Golgi complex to the dendritic domain, whereas the hemagglutinin protein of FPV (an apically sorted protein in MDCK cells) was targeted preferentially, but not exclusively, to the axon. The VSV glycoprotein appeared in clusters on the dendritic surface, while the hemagglutinin was distributed uniformly along the axonal membrane. Based on the finding that the same viral glycoproteins are sorted in a polarized fashion in both neuronal and epithelial cells, we propose that the molecular mechanisms of surface protein sorting share common features in the two cell types.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Axons / microbiology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dendrites / microbiology*
  • Embryo, Mammalian
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Glycoproteins / analysis*
  • Glycoproteins / genetics
  • Hippocampus / microbiology*
  • Influenza A virus / genetics*
  • Neurons / microbiology*
  • Rats
  • Vesicular stomatitis Indiana virus / genetics*
  • Viral Proteins / analysis*
  • Viral Proteins / genetics


  • Glycoproteins
  • Viral Proteins