Formation of virus-like particles from human cell lines exclusively expressing influenza neuraminidase

J Gen Virol. 2010 Sep;91(Pt 9):2322-30. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.019935-0. Epub 2010 May 26.


The minimal virus requirements for the generation of influenza virus-like particle (VLP) assembly and budding were reassessed. Using neuraminidase (NA) from the H5N1 and H1N1 subtypes, it was found that the expression of NA alone was sufficient to generate and release VLPs. Biochemical and functional characterization of the NA-containing VLPs demonstrated that they were morphologically similar to influenza virions. The NA oligomerization was comparable to that of the live virus, and the enzymic activity, whilst not required for the release of NA-VLPs, was preserved. Together, these findings indicate that NA plays a key role in virus budding and morphogenesis, and demonstrate that NA-VLPs represent a useful tool in influenza research.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cell Line
  • Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus / genetics
  • Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus / physiology
  • Humans
  • Inclusion Bodies, Viral / genetics
  • Inclusion Bodies, Viral / physiology
  • Inclusion Bodies, Viral / ultrastructure
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype / genetics
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype / physiology*
  • Influenza A Virus, H1N1 Subtype / ultrastructure
  • Influenza A Virus, H5N1 Subtype / genetics*
  • Influenza A Virus, H5N1 Subtype / physiology*
  • Influenza A Virus, H5N1 Subtype / ultrastructure
  • Microscopy, Electron, Transmission
  • Neuraminidase / genetics
  • Neuraminidase / physiology*
  • Transfection
  • Viral Matrix Proteins / genetics
  • Viral Matrix Proteins / physiology
  • Viral Proteins / genetics
  • Viral Proteins / physiology*
  • Virus Assembly / genetics
  • Virus Assembly / physiology*
  • Virus Release / genetics
  • Virus Release / physiology*


  • Hemagglutinin Glycoproteins, Influenza Virus
  • M1 protein, Influenza A virus
  • Viral Matrix Proteins
  • Viral Proteins
  • Neuraminidase