Chlorella viruses evoke a rapid release of K+ from host cells during the early phase of infection

Monika Neupärtl, Christine Meyer, Isabell Woll, Florian Frohns, Ming Kang, James L. Van Etten, Detlef Kramer, Brigitte Hertel, Anna Moroni, Gerhard Thiel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Infection of Chlorella NC64A cells by PBCV-1 produces a rapid depolarization of the host probably by incorporation of a viral-encoded K+ channel (Kcv) into the host membrane. To examine the effect of an elevated conductance, we monitored the virus-stimulated efflux of K+ from the chlorella cells. The results indicate that all 8 chlorella viruses tested evoked a host specific K+ efflux with a concomitant decrease in the intracellular K+. This K+ efflux is partially reduced by blockers of the Kcv channel. Qualitatively these results support the hypothesis that depolarization and K+ efflux are at least partially mediated by Kcv. The virus-triggered K+ efflux occurs in the same time frame as host cell wall degradation and ejection of viral DNA. Therefore, it is reasonable to postulate that loss of K+ and associated water fluxes from the host lower the pressure barrier to aid ejection of DNA from the virus particles into the host.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)340-348
Number of pages9
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 15 2008


  • Chlorella viruses
  • K efflux
  • PBCV-1
  • Phycodnaviridae
  • Viral K channel Kcv

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology

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