Tissue tropism

From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

Tissue tropism is the cells and tissues of a host that support growth of a particular virus or bacterium. Some bacteria and viruses have a broad tissue tropism and can infect many types of cells and tissues. Other viruses may infect primarily a single tissue. For example, rabies virus affects primarily neuronal tissue.

Influencing factors[edit]

Factors influencing viral tissue tropism include:

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]


  • Raven, Peter H.(2008). "Biology 8th Edition". New York, McGraw-Hill.