Vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) infection of kidney-derived, LLC-PK1 epithelial cells resulted in the budding of new viral particles into the basolateral space of the cultures. In lateral regions where cells were in close apposition, the majority of assembling viral particles in the process of budding from the producing cell had their apex already engaged in clathrin-coated pits of the neighbouring cell surface. These observations suggest that the viral envelope-plasma membrane interaction triggers the focal formation of clathrin-coated pits; they also show how VSV infection could spread throughout a tissue with only minimal exposure to a host's extracellular environment.
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