Poxviruses are the only DNA viruses known to replicate and assemble in the cytoplasm of infected cells. Poxvirus morphogenesis is a complicated process in which four distinct infectious forms of the virus are produced: intracellular mature virus, intracellular enveloped virus, cell-associated enveloped virus, and extracellular enveloped virus. The source of primary membrane wrapping the intracellular mature virus, the first infectious form, is still unknown. Although the membrane was suggested to originate from the endoplasmic reticulum-Golgi intermediate compartment, none of the marker proteins from this or any other cell compartments has been found in the intracellular mature virus. Thus, it was hypothesized that the membrane is either extensively modified by the virus or synthesized de novo. In the work described here, we demonstrate that a host cell protein residing in the trans-Golgi network membrane, golgin-97, is transported to the sites of virus replication and assembly and becomes incorporated into the virions during poxvirus infection. Inside the virion, golgin-97 is associated with the insoluble core protein fraction. Being able to adopt a long rod-like structure, the protein apparently extends through the virion envelope and protrudes from its surface. Here we discuss the potential role and functions of golgin-97 in poxvirus replication and propose two working models.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science