Break ins and break outs: Viral interactions with the cytoskeleton of mammalian cells

Gregory A. Smith*, Lynn W. Enquist

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

138 Scopus citations


The host cytoskeleton plays important roles in the entry, replication, and egress of viruses. An assortment of viruses hijack cellular motor proteins to move on microtubules toward the cell interior during the entry process; others reverse this transport during egress to move assembling virus particles toward the plasma membrane. Polymerization of actin filaments is sometimes used to propel viruses from cell to cell, while many viruses induce the destruction of select cytoskeletal filaments apparently to effect efficient egress. Indeed, the tactics used by any given virus to achieve its infectious life cycle are certain to involve multiple cytoskeletal interactions. Understanding these interactions, and their orchestration during viral infections, is providing unexpected insights into basic virology, viral pathogenesis, and the biology of the cytoskeleton.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)135-161
Number of pages27
JournalAnnual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology
StatePublished - 2002


  • Actin
  • Egress
  • Entry
  • Intermediate filaments
  • Microtubule
  • Transport
  • Virology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Developmental Biology


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