Plant Pathology Department


Date of this Version



Published in JOURNAL OF VIROLOGY, Dec. 2008, p. 12181–12190 Vol. 82, No. 24 0022-538X/08/$08.000 doi:10.1128/JVI.01687-08 Copyright © 2008, American Society for Microbiology. Used by permission.


Paramecium bursaria chlorella virus 1 (PBCV-1) is the prototype of a family of large, double-stranded DNA, plaque-forming viruses that infect certain eukaryotic chlorella-like green algae from the genus Chlorovirus. PBCV-1 infection results in rapid host membrane depolarization and potassium ion release. One interesting feature of certain chloroviruses is that they code for functional potassium ion-selective channel proteins (Kcv) that are considered responsible for the host membrane depolarization and, as a consequence, the efflux of potassium ions. This report examines the relationship between cellular depolarization and solute uptake. Annotation of the virus host Chlorella strain NC64A genome revealed 482 putative transporter-encoding genes; 224 are secondary active transporters. Solute uptake experiments using seven radioactive compounds revealed that virus infection alters the transport of all the solutes. However, the degree of inhibition varied depending on the solute. Experiments with nystatin, a drug known to depolarize cell membranes, produced changes in solute uptake that are similar but not identical to those that occurred during virus infection. Therefore, these studies indicate that chlorovirus infection causes a rapid and sustained depolarization of the host plasma membrane and that this depolarization leads to the inhibition of secondary active transporters that changes solute uptake.