Stepwise dismantling of adenovirus 2 during entry into cells

Cell. 1993 Nov 5;75(3):477-86. doi: 10.1016/0092-8674(93)90382-z.


Adenoviruses enter their host cells by receptor-mediated endocytosis and acid-activated penetration from endosomes into the cytosol and deliver their DNA genome into the nucleus. Our results show that incoming adenovirus type 2 particles undergo a stepwise disassembly program necessary to allow progress of the virus in the entry pathway and release of the genome into the nucleus. The fibers are released, the penton base structures dissociated, the proteins connecting the DNA to the inside surface of the capsid degraded or shed, and the capsid-stabilizing minor proteins eliminated. The uncoating process starts immediately upon endocytic uptake with the loss of fibers and ends with the uptake of dissociated hexon proteins and DNA into the nucleus.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenoviruses, Human / immunology
  • Adenoviruses, Human / physiology*
  • Adenoviruses, Human / ultrastructure
  • Biological Transport
  • Capsid / immunology
  • Capsid / metabolism*
  • Capsid Proteins*
  • Endocytosis*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Models, Biological
  • Precipitin Tests
  • Time Factors
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Viral Plaque Assay


  • Capsid Proteins
  • hexon capsid protein, Adenovirus
  • penton protein, adenovirus