African swine fever virus interaction with microtubules

Biol Cell. 1993;78(3):229-34. doi: 10.1016/0248-4900(93)90134-z.


The role of microtubules in intracellular transport of African swine fever virus (ASFV) and virus-induced inclusions was studied by immunofluorescence using anti-ASFV and anti-tubulin antibodies, by electron microscopy of infected Vero cells and by in vitro binding of virions to purified microtubules. MTC, a reversible colchicine analogue, was used to depolymerize microtubules. In cells treated with MTC multiple large inclusions containing ASFV antigens and particles were observed in the cytoplasm. Removal of the drug lead to migration and fusion of the inclusions at a perinuclear location. To study the effect of microtubule repolymerization on virus particle distribution, the particles were counted in thin sections of MTC treated cells and at different times after removal of the drug. In cells treated with MTC 6.8% and 3.6% of the virus particles were found respectively in the cytoplasm and at the cell membrane while 38% of the particles were located around the virosome. With reversal of the drug effect the number of virus particles around the virosomes progressively decreased to 10% at 2 h while the number of particles in the cytoplasm and at the cell membrane increased. At 2 h after removal of the drug 33.5% of the particles were found budding from the cell membrane. Virus particles were found closely associated with microtubules in cytoskeletons obtained by Triton X-100 extraction of taxol treated cells. The association of virus particles with microtubules was also observed in vitro using purified microtubules and virus particles.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • African Swine Fever Virus / physiology*
  • African Swine Fever Virus / ultrastructure*
  • Animals
  • Cytoskeleton / physiology
  • Cytoskeleton / ultrastructure
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Microtubules / physiology*
  • Microtubules / ultrastructure*
  • Models, Biological
  • Tubulin / analysis
  • Vero Cells
  • Virus Replication


  • Tubulin