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Cell. 1980 May;20(1):45-54.

Polarized distribution of viral envelope proteins in the plasma membrane of infected epithelial cells.


The surface distribution of the envelope glycoproteins of influenza, Sendai and Vesicular Stomatitis viruses was studied by immunofluorescence and immunoelectromicroscopy in infected epithelial cell monolayers, from which these viruses bud in a polarized fashion. It was found that before the onset of viral budding, the envelope proteins are exclusively localized into the same plasma membrane domains of the epithelial cells from which the virions ultimately bud: the glycoproteins of influenza and Sendai were detected at the apical surface, while the G protein of Vesicular Stomatitis virus was concentrated at the basolateral region. On the other hand, Sendai virus nucleocapsids, which can be easily identified in the cytoplasm before viral assembly, could be observed throughout the cell, not showing any preferential localization near the surface that the virions utilize for budding. These results are consistent with a model in which the asymmetric distribution of viral envelope proteins, rather than a polarized delivery of nucleocapsids, directs the polarity of viral budding. Furthermore, the asymmetric surface localization of viral glycoproteins suggests that these proteins share with intrinsic surface proteins of epithelial cells common biogenetic mechanisms and informational features or "sorting out" signals that determine their compartmentalization in the plasma membrane.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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