The spatio-temporal distribution dynamics of Ebola virus proteins and RNA in infected cells

Sci Rep. 2013;3:1206. doi: 10.1038/srep01206. Epub 2013 Feb 4.


Here, we used a biologically contained Ebola virus system to characterize the spatio-temporal distribution of Ebola virus proteins and RNA during virus replication. We found that viral nucleoprotein (NP), the polymerase cofactor VP35, the major matrix protein VP40, the transcription activator VP30, and the minor matrix protein VP24 were distributed in cytoplasmic inclusions. These inclusions enlarged near the nucleus, became smaller pieces, and subsequently localized near the plasma membrane. GP was distributed in the cytoplasm and transported to the plasma membrane independent of the other viral proteins. We also found that viral RNA synthesis occurred within the inclusions. Newly synthesized negative-sense RNA was distributed inside the inclusions, whereas positive-sense RNA was distributed both inside and outside. These findings provide useful insights into Ebola virus replication.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Cell Membrane / virology
  • Cell Nucleus / virology
  • Chlorocebus aethiops
  • Ebolavirus / genetics*
  • Ebolavirus / metabolism*
  • Inclusion Bodies / virology
  • Nucleoproteins / genetics
  • Nucleoproteins / metabolism*
  • RNA, Viral / biosynthesis*
  • RNA, Viral / metabolism
  • Spatio-Temporal Analysis
  • Transcription Factors / metabolism
  • Vero Cells
  • Viral Core Proteins / genetics
  • Viral Core Proteins / metabolism*
  • Viral Envelope Proteins / metabolism
  • Viral Matrix Proteins / metabolism
  • Viral Proteins / metabolism
  • Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins / metabolism
  • Virus Replication / physiology


  • Nucleoproteins
  • RNA, Viral
  • Transcription Factors
  • VP24 protein, Ebola virus
  • VP30 protein, ebola virus
  • VP35 protein, filovirus
  • VP40 protein, virus
  • Viral Core Proteins
  • Viral Envelope Proteins
  • Viral Matrix Proteins
  • Viral Proteins
  • Viral Regulatory and Accessory Proteins
  • envelope glycoprotein, Ebola virus