Internalization of human rhinovirus 14 into HeLa and ICAM-1-transfected BHK cells

Med Microbiol Immunol. 1997 Jun;186(1):1-9. doi: 10.1007/s004300050039.


Virus adsorption and uptake of human rhinovirus 14 (HRV14) were studied with HeLa cells and baby hamster kidney (BHK) cells which were transfected with the HRV14 receptor intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1). Transmission electron microscopy of HeLa cells revealed that HRV14 was internalized via clathrin-coated pits and -coated vesicles. A minority of virus particles also used uncoated vesicles for entry. The internalization showed the characteristics of receptor-mediated endocytosis. Presence of the carboxylic ionophore monensin inhibited viral uncoating, indicating a pH-dependent entry mechanism. The expression of ICAM-1 on the surface of the ICAM-1 transfected baby hamster kidney cells (BHK-ICAM cells) allowed extensive virus adsorption and internalization through membrane channels. Virus particles were lined up in these channels like pearls on a string, but did not induce a productive infection. Although ICAM-1 was expressed to the same degree on BHK-ICAM and HeLa cells, HRV14 induced neither viral protein and RNA syntheses nor infectious virus progeny in BHK-ICAM cells. ICAM-1 on the transfected BHK cells was a functional active receptor as it rendered these cells permissive to coxsackievirus A21. These results suggest that HRV14 uptake into BHK-ICAM cells is blocked directly in or shortly after its final step of internalization, the uncoating. Our findings underline that the receptor ICAM-1 determines virus uptake into cells, however, is not sufficient to confer susceptibility of BHK cells to HRV14 infection.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cricetinae
  • HeLa Cells / virology
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 / genetics
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1 / physiology*
  • Kidney / virology
  • Rhinovirus / physiology*
  • Transfection
  • Viral Proteins / biosynthesis


  • Viral Proteins
  • Intercellular Adhesion Molecule-1