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Plasma Membrane Budding as an Alternative Release Mechanism of the Extracellular Enveloped Form of Vaccinia Virus from HeLa Cells

By Andrea Meiser, Carmen Sancho and Jacomine Krijnse Locker


In HeLa cells the assembly of modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA), an attenuated vaccinia virus (VV) strain, is blocked. No intracellular mature viruses (IMVs) are made and instead, immature viruses accumulate, some of which undergo condensation and are released from the cell. The condensed particles may undergo wrapping by membranes of the trans-Golgi network and fusion with the plasma membrane prior to their release (M. W. Carroll and B. Moss, Virology 238:198-211, 1997). The present study shows by electron microscopy (EM), however, that the dense particles made in HeLa cells are also released by a budding process at the plasma membrane. By labeling the plasma membrane with antibodies to B5R, a membrane protein of the extracellular enveloped virus, we show that budding occurs at sites that concentrate this protein. EM quantitation revealed that the cell surface around a budding profile was as strongly labeled with anti-B5R antibody as were the extracellular particles, whereas the remainder of the plasma membrane was significantly less labeled. To test whether budding was a characteristic of MVA infection, HeLa cells were infected with the replication competent VV strains Western Reserve strain (WR) and International Health Department strain-J (IHD-J) and also prepared for EM. EM analyses, surprisingly, revealed for both virus strains IMVs that evidently budded at the cell surface at sites that were significantly labeled with anti-B5R. EM also indicated that budding of MVA dense particles was more efficient than budding of IMVs from WR- or IHD-J-infected cells. This was confirmed by semipurifying [(35)S]methionine-labeled dense particles or extracellular enveloped virus (EEVs) from the culture supernatant of MVA- or IHD-J-infected HeLa cells, respectively, showing that threefold more labeled dense particles were secreted than EEVs. Finally, although the released MVA dense particles contain some DNA, they are not infectious, as assessed by plaque assays

Topics: Virus-Cell Interactions
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology
Year: 2003
DOI identifier: 10.1128/JVI.77.18.9931-9942.2003
OAI identifier:
Provided by: PubMed Central
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