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Arch Virol. 2011 Sep;156(9):1647-53. doi: 10.1007/s00705-011-1012-1. Epub 2011 May 18.

Vaccinia virus lacking A17 induces complex membrane structures composed of open membrane sheets.

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European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg, Meyerhofstra├če 1, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany.


The vaccinia virus (VACV) precursor membrane, the crescent, consists of an open membrane sheet and is formed by rupture of a cellular compartment. Here, we asked whether A17, a viral membrane protein, plays a role in membrane rupture. Without A17 synthesis, crescents are not formed, and instead, tubular and vesicular membranes accumulate (Rodriguez et al. in J Virol 69:4640-4648, 1). We used electron tomography (ET) to analyze whether the viral membranes lacking A17 consist of open membrane sheets. Tubular, vesicular and so far not described onion-shaped membranes, which consisted of open membrane sheets, were seen. Thus, the data show that membrane rupture occurs independently of the A17 protein.

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