The early interaction between KB cells and adenovirus was studied by examining the uptake of an extracellular fluorescent macromolecule, FITC (fluorescein isothiocyanate)-labeled dextran (FD). When cells in suspension were incubated with both adenovirus and FD, cell-associated FD increased 2-to 3-fold the value obtained without adenovirus. Under fluorescence microscopy, cells incubated with adenovirus showed bright, whole-cellular fluorescence; whereas, those incubated without adenovirus, or with heat-inactivated virus, showed weaker fluorescence, mainly of the pinocytic vesicles. The increased uptake of the FD by adenovirus was inhibited by treating KB cells with the drugs chloroquine, ammonium chloride and monensin that raise the pH of the acidic compartment. Entry of adenovirus into the KB cell's nucleus also was inhibited by these drugs. The conclusion is that entry of adenovirus into the cell involves its passage of an acidic compartment (probably the endocytic vesicle) and that co-endocytosed macromolecules are released into the cytosol on entry.
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