Virus budding and the ESCRT pathway

Cell Host Microbe. 2013 Sep 11;14(3):232-41. doi: 10.1016/j.chom.2013.08.012.


Enveloped viruses escape infected cells by budding through limiting membranes. In the decade since the discovery that HIV recruits cellular ESCRT (endosomal sorting complexes required for transport) machinery to facilitate viral budding, this pathway has emerged as the major escape route for enveloped viruses. In cells, the ESCRT pathway catalyzes analogous membrane fission events required for the abscission stage of cytokinesis and for a series of "reverse topology" vesiculation events. Studies of enveloped virus budding are therefore providing insights into the complex cellular mechanisms of cell division and membrane protein trafficking (and vice versa). Here, we review how viruses mimic cellular recruiting signals to usurp the ESCRT pathway, discuss mechanistic models for ESCRT pathway functions, and highlight important research frontiers.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Endosomal Sorting Complexes Required for Transport / metabolism*
  • Host-Pathogen Interactions*
  • Humans
  • Models, Biological
  • Retroviridae / physiology*
  • Virus Release*


  • Endosomal Sorting Complexes Required for Transport