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Virology. 1991 Dec;185(2):843-6.

Fate of the 6K membrane protein of Semliki Forest virus during virus assembly.

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Department of Molecular Biology, Karolinska Institute, Huddinge, Sweden.


The Semliki Forest virus directs the synthesis of three virus-specific transmembrane proteins p62, 6K, and E1, which all are made in equimolar amounts from a polyprotein precursor molecule. The p62 and E1 spike proteins form heterodimeric complexes in the endoplasmic reticulum before being transported to the cell surface where virus budding occurs. In this study we show that the 6K protein becomes associated to the p62E1 complex in the endoplasmic reticulum and transported with the complex to the cell surface. During virus budding, E1 and p62 (which has matured into the E2 protein) are incorporated into new virions whereas the 6K is mostly excluded. Virus particles released from infected BHK cells contain only about 3% of 6K in their membrane as compared to the spike protein content. The relevance of these findings for the mechanism of SFV assembly is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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