Possible function for virus encoded K+ channel Kcv in the replication of chlorella virus PBCV-1

Mario Mehmel, Maike Rothermel, Tobias Meckel, James L. Van Etten, Anna Moroni, Gerhard Thiel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The K+ channel Kcv is encoded by the chlorella virus PBCV-1. There is evidence that this channel plays an essential role in the replication of the virus, because both PBCV-1 plaque formation and Kcv channel activity in Xenopus oocytes have similar sensitivities to inhibitors. Here we report circumstantial evidence that the Kcv channel is important during virus infection. Recordings of membrane voltage in the host cells Chlorella NC64A reveal a membrane depolarization within the first few minutes of infection. This depolarization displays the same sensitivity to cations as Kcv conductance; depolarization also requires the intact membrane of the virion. Together these data are consistent with the idea that the virus carries functional K+ channels in the virion and inserts them into the host cell plasma membrane during infection.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-11
Number of pages5
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number1
StatePublished - Sep 18 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Chlorella virus PBCV-1
  • Membrane depolarization
  • Viral K channel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cell Biology


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