During the initial stages of Semliki Forest virus (SFV) infection in mammalian (baby hamster kidney, BHK) cells, the cleavage of SFV capsid protein could be detected. Analysis of subcellular fractions from SFV-infected BHK cells showed that (a) cleavage of the capsid protein occurred within a prelysosomal compartment of the endocytotic pathway, and (b) following release of the nucleocapsid into the cytoplasm, a 17.5 kD capsid protein fragment could be detected in the subcellular fraction which contained ribosomes. We have previously reported the cleavage of incoming SFV capsid protein in mosquito cells, too. Thus, the proteolytic cleavage of incoming SFV capsid protein is a feature which is common to both invertebrate and mammalian cells. These data further support our hypothesis that the cleavage of incoming capsid protein might provide the conformational change which primes the SFV nucleocapsid for uncoating.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 1, 1997
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