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Morphology and morphogenesis of Sindbis virus as seen with freeze-etching techniques

Morphology and morphogenesis of Sindbis virus as seen with freeze-etching techniques

Journal of Virology 10(3): 524-536

Freeze-etch electron microscope studies of the morphogenesis and morphology of Sindbis virus confirmed results obtained by other workers employing thin-sectioning techniques. The 68-nm virion was found to have a nucleocapsid 36 nm in diameter surrounded by a double-layered, unit membrane. The membranous envelope is acquired as the capsid buds through the plasma membrane of the infected cell. The freeze-etch technique also provided the following new information. (i) At any one time, budding occurs in patches rather than evenly over the cell surface. (ii) The nucleocapsid is composed of capsomers 7 nm in diameter. (iii) The capsid interacts strongly with the membrane, both prior to budding and after maturation. (iv) The 7- to 10-nm particles characteristic of the internal faces of plasma membranes, which presumably represent host membrane proteins, are present in early stages of budding but disappear as morphogenesis progresses. (v) Fusion of the cell membrane at the base of the budding virion is a two-step process; the inner leaflet fuses into a sphere before the outer one. (vi) The outer surface of the viral envelope is covered with 4-nm subunits with a center-to-center spacing of 6 nm.

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Accession: 043686617

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PMID: 4672393

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