Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

ABSTRACT Many viruses induce profound changes in cell metabolism and function. Here we show that vaccinia virus induces two distinct forms of cell movement. Virus-induced cell migration was demonstrated by an in vitro wound healing assay in which infected cells migrated independently into the wound area while uninfected cells remained relatively static. Time-lapse microscopy showed that the maximal rate of migration occurred between 9 and 12 h postinfection. Virus-induced cell migration was inhibited by preinactivation of viral particles with trioxsalen and UV light or by the addition of cycloheximide but not by addition of cytosine arabinoside or rifampin. The expression of early viral genes is therefore necessary and sufficient to induce cell migration. Following migration, infected cells developed projections up to 160 μm in length which had growth-cone-like structures and were frequently branched. Time-lapse video microscopy showed that these projections were formed by extension and condensation of lamellipodia from the cell body. Formation of extensions was dependent on late gene expression but not the production of intracellular enveloped (IEV) particles. The requirements for virus-induced cell migration and for the formation of extensions therefore differ from each other and are distinct from the polymerization of actin tails on IEV particles. These data show that poxviruses encode genes which control different aspects of cell motility and thus represent a useful model system to study and dissect cell movement.

Original publication




Journal article


Journal of Virology


American Society for Microbiology

Publication Date





1235 - 1243