Two types of functionally distinct fiber containing structural protein complexes are produced during infection of adenovirus serotype 5

PLoS One. 2015 Feb 27;10(2):e0117976. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0117976. eCollection 2015.


Adenoviruses are common pathogens. The localization of their receptors coxsackievirus and adenovirus receptor, and desmoglein-2 in cell-cell junction complexes between polarized epithelial cells represents a major challenge for adenovirus infection from the apical surface. Structural proteins including hexon, penton base and fiber are excessively produced in serotype 5 adenovirus (Ad5)-infected cells. We have characterized the composition of structural protein complexes released from Ad5 infected cells and their capacity in remodeling cell-cell junction complexes. Using T84 cells as a model for polarized epithelium, we have studied the effect of Ad5 structural protein complexes in remodeling cell-cell junctions in polarized epithelium. The initial Ad5 infection in T84 cell culture was inefficient. However, progressive distortion of cell-cell junction in association with fiber release was evident during progression of Ad5 infection. Incubation of T84 cell cultures with virion-free supernatant from Ad5 infected culture resulted in distortion of cell-cell junctions and decreased infectivity of Ad5-GFP vector. We used gel filtration chromatography to fractionate fiber containing virion-free supernatant from Ad5 infected culture supernatant. Fiber containing fractions were further characterized for their capacity to inhibit the infection of Ad5-GFP vector, their composition in adenovirus structural proteins using western blot and LC-MS/MS and their capacity in remolding cell-cell junctions. Fiber molecules in complexes containing penton base and hexon, or mainly hexon were identified. Only the fiber complexes with relatively high content of penton base, but not the fiber-hexon complexes with low penton base, were able to penetrate into T84 cells and cause distortion of cell-cell junctions. Our findings suggest that these two types of fiber complexes may play different roles in adenoviral infection.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adenovirus Infections, Human / virology
  • Adenoviruses, Human / classification
  • Adenoviruses, Human / physiology*
  • Capsid Proteins / chemistry
  • Capsid Proteins / metabolism*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Coxsackie and Adenovirus Receptor-Like Membrane Protein / metabolism
  • Desmoglein 2 / metabolism
  • Epithelial Cells / metabolism
  • Epithelial Cells / pathology
  • Epithelial Cells / virology
  • Gene Expression
  • Genes, Reporter
  • Genetic Vectors / genetics
  • Genetic Vectors / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Junctions / metabolism
  • Multiprotein Complexes / metabolism*
  • Virion / metabolism
  • Virus Replication*


  • Capsid Proteins
  • Coxsackie and Adenovirus Receptor-Like Membrane Protein
  • Desmoglein 2
  • Multiprotein Complexes
  • hexon capsid protein, Adenovirus
  • penton protein, adenovirus