Caveolin-1 Is Incorporated Into Mature Respiratory Syncytial Virus Particles During Virus Assembly on the Surface of Virus-Infected Cells

J Gen Virol. 2002 Mar;83(Pt 3):611-621. doi: 10.1099/0022-1317-83-3-611.


We have employed immunofluorescence microscopy and transmission electron microscopy to examine the assembly and maturation of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) in the Vero cell line C1008. RSV matures at the apical cell surface in a filamentous form that extends from the plasma membrane. We observed that inclusion bodies containing viral ribonucleoprotein (RNP) cores predominantly appeared immediately below the plasma membrane, from where RSV filaments form during maturation at the cell surface. A comparison of mock-infected and RSV-infected cells by confocal microscopy revealed a significant change in the pattern of caveolin-1 (cav-1) fluorescence staining. Analysis by immuno-electron microscopy showed that RSV filaments formed in close proximity to cav-1 clusters at the cell surface membrane. In addition, immuno-electron microscopy showed that cav-1 was closely associated with early budding RSV. Further analysis by confocal microscopy showed that cav-1 was subsequently incorporated into the envelope of RSV filaments maturing on the host cell membrane, but was not associated with other virus structures such as the viral RNPs. Although cav-1 was incorporated into the mature virus, it was localized in clusters rather than being uniformly distributed along the length of the viral filaments. Furthermore, when RSV particles in the tissue culture medium from infected cells were examined by immuno-negative staining, the presence of cav-1 on the viral envelope was clearly demonstrated. Collectively, these findings show that cav-1 is incorporated into the envelope of mature RSV particles during egress.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Caveolin 1
  • Caveolins / metabolism*
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism*
  • Cell Membrane / ultrastructure
  • Cell Membrane / virology*
  • Cell Polarity
  • Chlorocebus aethiops / virology
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Inclusion Bodies, Viral / metabolism
  • Inclusion Bodies, Viral / ultrastructure
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Microscopy, Immunoelectron
  • Protein Transport
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human / growth & development*
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human / metabolism*
  • Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human / ultrastructure
  • Ribonucleoproteins / metabolism
  • Vero Cells
  • Viral Proteins / metabolism
  • Virus Assembly*


  • Caveolin 1
  • Caveolins
  • Ribonucleoproteins
  • Viral Proteins