The rotavirus enterotoxin (NSP4) promotes re-modeling of the intracellular microtubule network

Weiming Yang, Malcolm A. McCrae

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Expression of the rotavirus enterotoxin (NSP4) in transfected monkey kidney cells was found to result in a dramatic re-modeling of the microtubule (MT) network. This important centrosome organized cytoskeletal element was dissolved by expression of NSP4 and re-formed in a ring array at the periphery of the cell, similar to that seen following normal virus infection. Site directed mutagenesis of the N-linked glycosylation sites in NSP4 was employed to show that glycosylation of NSP4 was not required for it to promote changes in the MT network. This result together with experiments using conventional inhibitors indicated that NSP4's ability to cause elevation of intracellular calcium levels was also not necessary to effect the changes in the MT network. Use of the centrosome function inhibitor nocodazole demonstrated that NSP4 based remodeling of the MT network was dominant over the normal organizational role of the centrosome. Finally the remodeling of the MT network was shown not to be linked to cellular apoptosis or necrosis. The potential importance of this newly recognised role for NSP4 in the overall process of intracellular pathogenesis by rotaviruses is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-274
Number of pages6
JournalVirus Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Microtubule network
  • NSP4
  • Rotavirus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Cancer Research


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