Virion Assembly Factories in the Nucleus of Polyomavirus-Infected Cells. (2012) PLoS Pathog 8(4): e1002630. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1002630
Polyomaviruses are infectious pathogens of mammals and birds that have been linked to the development of cancers in their hosts. Members of the polyomavirus family are associated with human disease, such as JCV and BKV, and over the past few years, several more human polyomaviruses (WUV, KIV and MCV) have been discovered in immune-suppressed individuals. We are studying the way in which these viruses assemble in cells in order to identify critical points where anti-viral therapies could target these viruses. Using a structural, biochemical and cell biological approach, we set out to define sites of virus assembly and virus intermediates. We identified virus-specific structures that we termed “virus factories”. We believe that these sites serve as an assembly line for the production of new viruses. Our study provides new evidence for the presence and composition of virus assembly factories, and identifies a host protein that may be important for infection by polyomaviruses.