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J Virol. 2003 Feb;77(3):1793-800.

Biochemical and functional characterization of the Ebola virus VP24 protein: implications for a role in virus assembly and budding.

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  • 1Laboratory 412. Laboratory 413, Department of Pathobiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-6049, USA.


The VP24 protein of Ebola virus is believed to be a secondary matrix protein and minor component of virions. In contrast, the VP40 protein of Ebola virus is the primary matrix protein and the most abundant virion component. The structure and function of VP40 have been well characterized; however, virtually nothing is known regarding the structure and function of VP24. Wild-type and mutant forms of VP24 were expressed in mammalian cells to gain a better understanding of the biochemical and functional nature of this viral protein. Results from these experiments demonstrated that (i) VP24 localizes to the plasma membrane and perinuclear region in both transfected and Ebola virus-infected cells, (ii) VP24 associates strongly with lipid membranes, (iii) VP24 does not contain N-linked sugars when expressed alone in mammalian cells, (iv) VP24 can oligomerize when expressed alone in mammalian cells, (v) progressive deletions at the N terminus of VP24 resulted in a decrease in oligomer formation and a concomitant increase in the formation of high-molecular-weight aggregates, and (vi) VP24 was present in trypsin-resistant virus like particles released into the media covering VP24-transfected cells. These data indicate that VP24 possesses structural features commonly associated with viral matrix proteins and that VP24 may have a role in virus assembly and budding.

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