Equine Alphaherpesviruses Require Activation of the Small GTPases Rac1 and Cdc42 for Intracellular Transport

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number1013
Journal / PublicationMicroorganisms
Issue number7
Online published7 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


Viruses utilize host cell signaling to facilitate productive infection. Equine herpesvirus type 1 (EHV-1) has been shown to activate Ca2+ release and phospholipase C upon contact with α4β1 integrins on the cell surface. Signaling molecules, including small GTPases, have been shown to be activated downstream of Ca2+ release, and modulate virus entry, membrane remodeling and intracellular transport. In this study, we show that EHV-1 activates the small GTPases Rac1 and Cdc42 during infection. The activation of Rac1 and Cdc42 is necessary for virus-induced acetylation of tubulin, effective viral transport to the nucleus, and cell-to-cell spread. We also show that inhibitors of Rac1 and Cdc42 did not block virus entry, but inhibited overall virus infection. The Rac1 and Cdc42 signaling is presumably orthogonal to Ca2+ release, since Rac1 and Cdc42 inhibitors affected the infection of both EHV-1 and EHV-4, which do not bind to integrins.

Research Area(s)

  • Alphaherpesvirus, Cdc42, Cell entry, EHV, Host pathogen interaction, Intracellular transport, Rac1, Small GTPase