Biomembranes & Viruses

Mechanics guides Infection and Replication in Enveloped Viruses

Virus infection and replication occur via the deflection of a cell membrane promoted by the affinity between transmembrane proteins. These are macromolecules that diffuse across the membranal fluid mosaic to accommodate wrapping and unwrapping. Virus replication involves wrapping the membrane around the nucleocapsid followed by the expulsion (exocytosis or budding) of the virus progeny. This process takes ~ 10 minutes. Virus infection, taking ~ 1 min, involves wrapping the cell membrane around the virus particle (endocytosis), or unwrapping the virus membrane to fuse with that of the cell (membrane fusion). The mechanism of virus replication defines the tightest constraints to the size distribution of a virus population. Also, the size of molecular antibodies can help prevent and/or regulate the cellular uptake of nanoparticles and viruses.

Selected papers

*M Bacca (2022). Mechanics of diffusion-mediated budding and implications for virus replication and infection. Journal of the Royal Society Interface 19, 20220525

D Agostinelli, GJ Elfring, M Bacca (2022). The morphological role of ligand inhibitors in blocking receptor-and clathrin-mediated endocytosis. Soft Matter 18 (18), 3531-3545


*JRSI December 2022