Tissue tropism

From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Tissue tropism is the range of cells and tissues of a host that support growth of a particular pathogen, such as a virus, bacterium or parasite.[1][2]

Some bacteria and viruses have a broad tissue tropism and can infect many types of cells and tissues.[1] Other viruses may infect primarily a single tissue.[1] For example, rabies virus affects primarily neuronal tissue.

Influencing factors[edit]

Factors influencing viral tissue tropism include:

  • The presence of cellular receptors permitting viral entry.
  • Availability of transcription factors involved in viral replication.
  • The molecular nature of the viral tropogen or virus surface, such as the glycoprotein, which interacts with the corresponding cell receptor.

The cellular receptors are the proteins found on a cell or viral surface. These receptors are like keys, allowing the viral cell to fuse with or attach itself to a cell. The way that these proteins are acquired is through a similar process to that of an infection cycle.

How 'tropic' tissue is acquired[edit]


Tissue tropism develops in the following stages:

  • Virus with GPX enters body (where GP - glycoprotein and X is the numeric value given to the GP)
  • Viral cell "targets" cell with a GPX receptors
  • Viral cell fuses with the host cell and inserts its contents into the host cell
  • Reverse transcription occurs
  • Viral DNA is incorporated with host DNA via viral enzyme
  • Production of RNA and viral protein
  • Viral particle is assembled
  • Viral particle buds out of the cell, taking a chunk of the cell membrane with it and acquiring a new tissue with all the receptors it needs to continue tissue tropism

Example: HIV has a gp120, which is precisely what the CD4 marker is on the surface of the macrophages and T cells. Thus HIV can enter T cells and macrophages

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c McCall, LI; Siqueira-Neto, JL; McKerrow, JH (May 2016). "Location, Location, Location: Five Facts about Tissue Tropism and Pathogenesis". PLOS Pathogens. 12 (5): e1005519. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1005519. PMC 4881934. PMID 27227827.
  2. ^ Silva Pereira, Sara; Trindade, Sandra; De Niz, Mariana; Figueiredo, Luisa M. (31 May 2019). "Tissue tropism in parasitic diseases". Open Biology. 9 (5): 190036. doi:10.1098/rsob.190036. ISSN 2046-2441. PMC 6544988. PMID 31088251.