The uptake of simian virus 40 (SV40) virions to the nucleus, the site of viral replication, proceeds via engulfment at the cytoplasmic membrane and transport in monopinocytotic vesicles through the cytoplasm to the nuclear membrane. In the case of Semliki Forest virus and poliovirus which undergo primary endocytosis in a similar manner, neutralization of the acid pH in these vesicles abolishes viral infectivity. We have examined the effects of the lysosomotropic agents chloroquine and ammonium chloride on the uptake of SV40 and find that neutralization of the acid pH in cellular organelles has no effect on the progress of SV40 infection. Although the initial endocytotic pathway appears similar for the viruses, the vesicular transport of SV40 to the nucleus proceeds, therefore, via an alternative endocytotic compartment which is not inhibited by increasing the endosomal pH.


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