Kinesin-1 transports morphologically distinct intracellular virions during vaccinia infection

J Cell Sci. 2023 Mar 1;136(5):jcs260175. doi: 10.1242/jcs.260175. Epub 2022 Sep 30.


Intracellular mature viruses (IMVs) are the first and most abundant infectious form of vaccinia virus to assemble during its replication cycle. IMVs can undergo microtubule-based motility, but their directionality and the motor involved in their transport remain unknown. Here, we demonstrate that IMVs, like intracellular enveloped viruses (IEVs), the second form of vaccinia that are wrapped in Golgi-derived membranes, recruit kinesin-1 and undergo anterograde transport. In vitro reconstitution of virion transport in infected cell extracts revealed that IMVs and IEVs move toward microtubule plus ends with respective velocities of 0.66 and 0.56 µm/s. Quantitative imaging established that IMVs and IEVs recruit an average of 139 and 320 kinesin-1 motor complexes, respectively. In the absence of kinesin-1, there was a near-complete loss of in vitro motility and reduction in the intracellular spread of both types of virions. Our observations demonstrate that kinesin-1 transports two morphologically distinct forms of vaccinia. Reconstitution of vaccinia-based microtubule motility in vitro provides a new model to elucidate how motor number and regulation impacts transport of a bona fide kinesin-1 cargo.

Keywords: In vitro motility assays; Kinesin-1; Microtubule transport; Vaccinia virus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Extracts
  • Humans
  • Kinesins*
  • Microtubules / metabolism
  • Vaccinia virus
  • Vaccinia* / metabolism
  • Virion / physiology


  • Cell Extracts
  • Kinesins