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, 78 (3-4), 177-90

Immunofluorescent Sites in Vero Cells Infected With the Flavivirus Kunjin

Immunofluorescent Sites in Vero Cells Infected With the Flavivirus Kunjin

M L Ng et al. Arch Virol.


The sites of replication and of accumulation of viral macromolecules were examined using fluorescent antibodies to viral products and to cell organelles. Synthesis of envelope protein and its accumulation in a narrow rim around the nucleus were detected at 4 hours post infection; concurrently, a progressive change was observed in the rough endoplasmic reticulum from a fine to a coarse network emanating from around the nucleus. This change in the network was visible by light microscopy. The immunofluorescent sites of viral RNA synthesis, located by use of anti-double stranded RNA, extended from the perinuclear region in another fine network which included many small foci or vesicles; these sites were also visible by light microscopy late in infection. None of these changes were associated with any visible redistribution of actin, intermediate filaments or microtubules, and no nuclear involvement was detected. However, when microtubules were disrupted by vinblastine treatment of cells, the distribution of the immunofluorescent sites of viral RNA synthesis was modified and the virus yield was reduced by at least 10-fold. These results confirmed our biochemical studies showing separation of viral sites of RNA synthesis and translation, and the accumulation of envelope protein in nuclear-associated membranes. The relevance of these observations is discussed in relation to the reports of specific membrane structures induced in flavivirus-infected cells.

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