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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 1, 2025
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2024
  3. We discovered that cells expressing the adherens junction protein nectin-1 capture nectin-4 containing membranes from the surface of adjacent cells in a trans-endocytosis process. Internalized nectin-1/4 complexes follow the endocytic pathway. The nectin-1 cytoplasmic tail controls transfer: its deletion prevents trans-endocytosis, while its exchange with the nectin-4 tail reverses transfer direction. Nectin-1 expressing cells acquire dye-labelled cytoplasmic proteins synchronously with nectin-4, a process most active during cell adhesion. Some cytoplasmic cargo remains functional after transfer, as demonstrated with encapsidated genomes of measles virus (MeV). This virus uses nectin-4, but not nectin-1, as receptor. Epithelial cells expressing nectin-4, but not those expressing another MeV receptor in its place, can transfer infection to nectin-1-expressing primary neurons. Thus, this newly discovered process can move cytoplasmic cargo, including infectious material, from epithelial cells to neurons. We name the process nectin-elicited cytoplasm transfer (NECT). NECT-related trans-endocytosis processes may be exploited by pathogens to extend tropism. 
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