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J Virol. 2004 Jul;78(14):7344-51.

Contribution of ebola virus glycoprotein, nucleoprotein, and VP24 to budding of VP40 virus-like particles.

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Department of Pathobiology, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, 3800 Spruce St, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6049, USA.


The VP40 matrix protein of Ebola virus buds from cells in the form of virus-like particles (VLPs) and plays a central role in virus assembly and budding. In this study, we utilized a functional budding assay and cotransfection experiments to examine the contributions of the glycoprotein (GP), nucleoprotein (NP), and VP24 of Ebola virus in facilitating release of VP40 VLPs. We demonstrate that VP24 alone does not affect VP40 VLP release, whereas NP and GP enhance release of VP40 VLPs, individually and to a greater degree in concert. We demonstrate further the following: (i). VP40 L domains are not required for GP-mediated enhancement of budding; (ii). the membrane-bound form of GP is necessary for enhancement of VP40 VLP release; (iii). NP appears to physically interact with VP40 as judged by detection of NP in VP40-containing VLPs; and (iv). the C-terminal 50 amino acids of NP may be important for interacting with and enhancing release of VP40 VLPs. These findings provide a more complete understanding of the role of VP40 and additional Ebola virus proteins during budding.

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