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Contact: Morgan Kelly
Princeton University

Virus Hijack

Caption: In a healthy neuron (left), mitochondria are carried along by motor proteins dynein and kinesin-1. Viral infection (right) floods the cell with calcium (Ca2+), which, when detected by the mitochondrial protein Miro, brings mitochondria to a halt and causes them to shed motor proteins. The Princeton researchers suggest that the virus then co-opts kinesin-1 to freely move within the infected cell and spread into the nervous system. The research presents a possible explanation for how other neurotropic viruses such as rabies, West Nile and polio also attack and disrupt the nervous system.

Credit: Tal Kramer

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Related news release: To spread, nervous system viruses sabotage cell, hijack transportation

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