Single particle tracking reveals SARS-CoV-2 regulating and utilizing dynamic filopodia for viral invasion

Sci Bull (Beijing). 2023 Oct 15;68(19):2210-2224. doi: 10.1016/j.scib.2023.08.031. Epub 2023 Aug 15.


Although severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) entry mechanism has been explored, little is known about how SARS-CoV-2 regulates the subcellular structural remodeling to invade multiple organs and cell types. Here, we unveil how SARS-CoV-2 boosts and utilizes filopodia to enter the target cells by real-time imaging. Using SARS-CoV-2 single virus-like particle (VLP) tracking in live cells and sparse deconvolution algorithm, we uncover that VLPs utilize filopodia to reach the entry site in two patterns, “surfing” and “grabbing”, which avoid the virus from randomly searching on the plasma membrane. Moreover, combining mechanical simulation, we elucidate that the formation of virus-induced filopodia and the retraction speed of filopodia depend on cytoskeleton dynamics and friction resistance at the substrate surface caused by loading-virus gravity, respectively. Further, we discover that the entry process of SARS-CoV-2 via filopodia depends on Cdc42 activity and actin-associated proteins fascin, formin, and Arp2/3. Together, our results highlight that the spatial-temporal regulation of actin cytoskeleton by SARS-CoV-2 infection makes filopodia as a highway for virus entry and potentiates it as an antiviral target.

PMID:37661543 | DOI:10.1016/j.scib.2023.08.031