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Arch Virol. 2009;154(4):595-600. doi: 10.1007/s00705-009-0348-2. Epub 2009 Mar 15.

Lipid rafts play an important role in the vesicular stomatitis virus life cycle.

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Northeast Forestry University, Harbin, People's Republic of China.


Lipid rafts are involved in the life cycle of many viruses. In this study, we investigated the role of lipids in the life cycle of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV). Cholesterol depletion by pretreatment of BHK cells or VSV particles with methyl-beta-cyclodextrin (MbetaCD), a cholesterol-sequestering drug, inhibited the production of VSV dramatically. This effect was reversible, and virus production was restored by the addition of cholesterol, indicating that the reduction was caused by the loss of cholesterol in the cell membrane and virus, respectively. Cholesterol depletion at the adsorption stage also reduced the production of VSV significantly, but in contrast, only had a limited effect on virus production at the post-entry stage. Inhibition of sphingomyelin by myriocin treatment only showed a minor effect on VSV production. However, reduction of cholesterol and sphingomyelin at the same time dramatically reduced VSV production, showed a significant synergistic effect. These results suggest that lipid rafts play an important role in the life cycle of VSV.

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