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J Gen Virol. 2008 Aug;89(Pt 8):1811-8. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.2008/001164-0.

Tomato spotted wilt virus glycoproteins induce the formation of endoplasmic reticulum- and Golgi-derived pleomorphic membrane structures in plant cells.

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  • 1Wageningen University, Laboratory of Virology, Binnenhaven 11, 6709 PD Wageningen, The Netherlands.


Tomato spotted wilt virus (TSWV) particles are spherical and enveloped, an uncommon feature among plant infecting viruses. Previous studies have shown that virus particle formation involves the enwrapment of ribonucleoproteins with viral glycoprotein containing Golgi stacks. In this study, the localization and behaviour of the viral glycoproteins Gn and Gc were analysed, upon transient expression in plant protoplasts. When separately expressed, Gc was solely observed in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER), whereas Gn was found both within the ER and Golgi membranes. Upon co-expression, both glycoproteins were found at ER-export sites and ultimately at the Golgi complex, confirming the ability of Gn to rescue Gc from the ER, possibly due to heterodimerization. Interestingly, both Gc and Gn were shown to induce the deformation of ER and Golgi membranes, respectively, also observed upon co-expression of the two glycoproteins. The behaviour of both glycoproteins within the plant cell and the phenomenon of membrane deformation are discussed in light of the natural process of viral infection.

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