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Organization of the Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Glycoprotein into Membrane Microdomains Occurs Independently of Intracellular Viral Components

By Erica L. Brown and Douglas S. Lyles


The glycoprotein (G protein) of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) is primarily organized in plasma membranes of infected cells into membrane microdomains with diameters of 100 to 150 nm, with smaller amounts organized into microdomains of larger sizes. This organization has been observed in areas of the infected-cell plasma membrane that are outside of virus budding sites as well as in the envelopes of budding virions. These observations raise the question of whether the intracellular virion components play a role in organizing the G protein into membrane microdomains. Immunogold-labeling electron microscopy was used to analyze the distribution of the G protein in arbitrarily chosen areas of plasma membranes of transfected cells that expressed the G protein in the absence of other viral components. Similar to the results with virus-infected cells, the G protein was organized predominantly into membrane microdomains with diameters of approximately 100 to 150 nm. These results indicate that internal virion components are not required to concentrate the G protein into membrane microdomains with a density similar to that of virus envelopes. To determine if interactions between the G protein cytoplasmic domain and internal virion components were required to create a virus budding site, cells infected with recombinant VSVs encoding truncation mutations of the G protein cytoplasmic domain were analyzed by immunogold-labeling electron microscopy. Deletion of the cytoplasmic domain of the G protein did not alter its partitioning into the 100- to 150-nm microdomains, nor did it affect the incorporation of the G protein into virus envelopes. These data support a model for virus assembly in which the G protein has the inherent property of partitioning into membrane microdomains that then serve as the sites of assembly of internal virion components

Topics: Structure and Assembly
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
Year: 2003
DOI identifier: 10.1128/JVI.77.7.3985-3992.2003
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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