Relative localization of viroplasmic and endoplasmic reticulum-resident rotavirus proteins in infected cells
Replication of rotaviruses, whose capsid is constituted by three concentric layers of proteins, occurs in large cytoplasmic inclusions, termed viroplasms. Subviral, double-layered particles bud from viroplasms to the adjacent endoplasmic reticulum (ER), where the outermost protein layer, formed by VP4 and VP7, is assembled. To better understand the morphogenetic process of the virus, we analyzed the relative distribution of viroplasmic and ER-resident viral proteins. Using double immunostaining and confocal microscopy we observed an extensive co-localization between the ER proteins NSP4 and VP7, and the cytoplasmic protein VP4. These three proteins were found to be organized mostly as ring-like or semicircular structures in close association with viroplasms, except for VP4 which displayed in addition, a filamentous distribution. The observations reported in this study underscore the highly organized nature of rotavirus morphogenesis.
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