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Virology. 1992 Jun;188(2):637-49.

Role of the host cell nucleus in the replication of African swine fever virus DNA.

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Centro de Biología Molecular, (CSIC-UAM), Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad Autónoma, Madrid, Spain.


An examination by autoradiography of African swine fever virus-infected alveolar macrophages pulse labeled with [3H]thymidine showed that, at early times of viral DNA replication, the grains were localized exclusively in the nucleus in 20% of the cells, while in 45% the label was found in the cytoplasm. In the remaining 35%, newly synthesized DNA was detected in both the nucleus and the cytoplasm. At later times, the percentage of cells with grains in the nucleus decreased considerably. Pulse-chase experiments indicated that the DNA synthesized in the nucleus is then transported to the cytoplasm. The presence of virus-specific DNA sequences in the nucleus was confirmed by in situ hybridization of infected macrophages. Similar hybridization experiments with African swine fever virus-infected VERO cells followed by confocal microscopy also indicated the existence of a nuclear stage in the localization of the viral DNA. These results suggest a mechanism for African swine fever virus DNA replication with an initial stage in the nucleus followed by a cytoplasmic phase. Specific nuclear forms associated with the hybridization signal have been observed in African swine fever virus-infected macrophages and VERO cells. The nuclear forms seen in macrophages are consistent with a mechanism for the egress of the viral DNA from the nucleus that involves initial budding at the nuclear membrane.

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