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Advances in Virology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 826301, 13 pages
Review Article

Productive Entry Pathways of Human Rhinoviruses

1Department of Pathophysiology, Medical University of Vienna, Währinger Gürtel 18-20, 1090 Vienna, Austria
2Department of Medical Biochemistry, Max F. Perutz Laboratories, Vienna Biocenter, Medical University of Vienna, Dr. Bohr Gasse 9/3, 1030 Vienna, Austria

Received 11 August 2012; Accepted 18 October 2012

Academic Editor: Jason Mercer

Copyright © 2012 Renate Fuchs and Dieter Blaas. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Currently, complete or partial genome sequences of more than 150 human rhinovirus (HRV) isolates are known. Twelve species A use members of the low-density lipoprotein receptor family for cell entry, whereas the remaining HRV-A and all HRV-B bind ICAM-1. HRV-Cs exploit an unknown receptor. At least all A and B type viruses depend on receptor-mediated endocytosis for infection. In HeLa cells, they are internalized mainly by a clathrin- and dynamin-dependent mechanism. Upon uptake into acidic compartments, the icosahedral HRV capsid expands by ~4% and holes open at the 2-fold axes, close to the pseudo-3-fold axes and at the base of the star-shaped dome protruding at the vertices. RNA-protein interactions are broken and new ones are established, the small internal myristoylated capsid protein VP4 is expelled, and amphipathic N-terminal sequences of VP1 become exposed. The now hydrophobic subviral particle attaches to the inner surface of endosomes and transfers its genomic (+) ssRNA into the cytosol. The RNA leaves the virus starting with the poly(A) tail at its 3′-end and passes through a membrane pore contiguous with one of the holes in the capsid wall. Alternatively, the endosome is disrupted and the RNA freely diffuses into the cytoplasm.