Labeling of virus particles facilitates the study of early events in virus infection.In this issue, Ilyushina and collogues have provided a new and effective
approach to label infl uenza viruses. The Function-Spacer-Lipid (FSL) constructs
labeling with fluorescent (fluo-Ad-DOPE) or biotin-labeled (biot-CMG2-DOPE)
probes were gently inserted into the membrane of seven human/avian Infl uenza
viruses, and each virion contained several thousand copies of lipid probes.
Virus infectivity and viral affi nity to sialyl receptors were tested and found not
much affected in vitro. This lipid labeling approach provides a useful tool in the
studies of virus attachment, virus endocytosis, intracellular traffi cking, and more.
The cover image shows the transmission electron microscope (TEM) image
of influenza viruses (pseudo-colored in indigo), and one virion in the middle
labeled with the lipid construct is illustrated (pseudo-colored in fluorescent
green). (The original TEM image was provided by the courtesy of Dr. Ding Gao,
from the Core Facility Center of Wuhan Institute of Virology.)