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Virology. 1999 Apr 25;257(1):24-34.

Replication and budding of simian immunodeficiency virus in polarized epithelial cells.

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Institute of Pathology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio, 44106, USA.


Simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV) infection of primates provides an important model for infection of humans by HIV. Since mucosal epithelium is likely to be an important portal of entry, we decided to study aspects of the interaction of SIV with epithelial cells. SIV was shown to produce virus efficiently in polarized epithelial cells (Vero C1008) transfected with SIVmac239 proviral DNA. The virus titer in the epithelial cell culture fluid reached 10(3) TCID50/ml at day 3 posttransfection. Initially after transfected epithelial cells were plated on a permeable membrane, virus budded at both the apical and the basolateral domains. However, after the cells formed a tight monolayer, 95-100% of the virus particles budded basolaterally, as assessed by release of p27 antigen into the fluid above and below the monolayer. This finding was confirmed by electron microscopy, which showed that the mature virus budded basolaterally in polarized cells. After introduction of the CD4 gene into Vero cells by a retrovirus vector, polarizable cells were able to be infected by cell-free SIVmac239 virus. The virus titer reached 10(4) TCID50/ml in culture fluid and virions also budded basolaterally, the same as the virus from transfected cells. Two viruses (SIVmac1A11 and SIVmac251) that contain truncated TMgp28 instead of TMgp41 also budded basolaterally. Furthermore, we found that HIV-1 with full-length or truncated TMgp41 also budded basolaterally.

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