Influence of calcium/calmodulin on budding of Ebola VLPs: implications for the involvement of the Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK pathway

Virus Genes. 2007 Dec;35(3):511-20. doi: 10.1007/s11262-007-0125-9. Epub 2007 Jun 15.


The VP40 matrix protein of Ebola virus is able to bud from mammalian cells as a virus-like particle (VLP). Interactions between L-domain motifs of VP40 and host proteins such as Tsg101 and Nedd4 serve to facilitate budding of VP40 VLPs. Since intracellular levels of calcium are known to influence localization and function of host proteins involved in virus budding, we sought to determine, whether alterations of calcium or calmodulin levels in cells would affect budding of VP40 VLPs. VP40 VLP release was assessed in cells treated with BAPTA/AM, a calcium ion chelator, or with ionomycin, a calcium ionophore. In addition, VLP budding was assessed in cells treated with W7, W13, or TFP; all calmodulin antagonists. Results from these experiments indicated that: (i) budding of VP40 VLPs was reduced in a dose-dependent manner in the presence of BAPTA/AM, and slightly enhanced in the presence of ionomycin, (ii) VP40 VLP budding was reduced in a dose-dependent manner in the presence of W7, whereas VP40 VLP budding was unaffected in the presence of cyclosporine-A, (iii) budding of VSV-WT and a VSV recombinant (M40 virus) possessing the L-domains of Ebola VP40 was inhibited in the presence of W7, W13, or TFP, (iv) inhibition of virus budding by W7, W13, and TFP appears to be L-domain independent, and (v) the mechanism of calcium/calmodulin-mediated inhibition of Ebola VLP budding may involve the Ras/Raf/MEK/ERK signaling pathway.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Calcium / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Calmodulin / antagonists & inhibitors
  • Calmodulin / metabolism*
  • Cell Line
  • Chelating Agents / pharmacology
  • Cricetinae
  • Ebolavirus / genetics*
  • Ebolavirus / metabolism
  • Egtazic Acid / analogs & derivatives
  • Egtazic Acid / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Ionomycin / pharmacology
  • Ionophores / pharmacology
  • Nucleoproteins / metabolism
  • Protein Transport
  • Signal Transduction
  • Sulfonamides / pharmacology
  • Viral Core Proteins / metabolism
  • Virosomes / metabolism*


  • Calmodulin
  • Chelating Agents
  • Ionophores
  • Nucleoproteins
  • Sulfonamides
  • Viral Core Proteins
  • Virosomes
  • nucleoprotein VP40, Ebola virus
  • 1,2-bis(2-aminophenoxy)ethane N,N,N',N'-tetraacetic acid acetoxymethyl ester
  • Egtazic Acid
  • Ionomycin
  • W 7
  • N-(4-aminobutyl)-5-chloro-2-naphthalenesulfonamide
  • Calcium