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Virology. 1995 Jan 10;206(1):485-94.

Cellular actin-binding ezrin-radixin-moesin (ERM) family proteins are incorporated into the rabies virion and closely associated with viral envelope proteins in the cell.

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Department of Molecular Microbiology, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Kyoto University, Japan.


Cellular ezrin-radixin-moesin (ERM) family proteins, members of the actin-binding proteins of the band 4.1 superfamily, were detected in the virions of enveloped viruses, such as rabies, vesicular stomatitis, Newcastle disease, and influenza viruses. To elucidate the mechanism of ERM protein incorporation, we investigated possible association of ERM proteins with viral components in rabies virus-infected BHK-21 cells. Double immunofluorescence studies demonstrated that the ERM proteins are concentrated in the microvilli, where the colocalized viral G protein was also seen. Viral G protein expressed in the G cDNA-transfected COS-7 cells also displayed similar distributions to those seen in the virus-infected cells. Both the ERM and viral envelope proteins were coprecipitated by anti-viral G antibody from lysates of the virus-infected cells, while the anti-ERM antibody coprecipitated viral G and ERM proteins. These observations suggest that the ERM proteins are closely associated with viral envelope proteins in the cell, which would be involved in the selective incorporation of cellular actin into the virion.

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