The alphavirus exit pathway: What we know and what we wish we knew

Rebecca S. Brown, Judy J. Wan, Margaret Kielian

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Alphaviruses are enveloped positive sense RNA viruses and include serious human pathogens, such as the encephalitic alphaviruses and Chikungunya virus. Alphaviruses are transmitted to humans primarily by mosquito vectors and include species that are classified as emerging pathogens. Alphaviruses assemble highly organized, spherical particles that bud from the plasma membrane. In this review, we discuss what is known about the alphavirus exit pathway during a cellular infection. We describe the viral protein interactions that are critical for virus assembly/budding and the host factors that are involved, and we highlight the recent discovery of cell-to-cell transmission of alphavirus particles via intercellular extensions. Lastly, we discuss outstanding questions in the alphavirus exit pathway that may provide important avenues for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number89
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 22 2018


  • Alphavirus
  • Assembly
  • Budding
  • Cell-to-cell transmission
  • Intercellular extensions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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