Aura alphavirus subgenomic RNA is packaged into virions of two sizes

T Rümenapf, D T Brown, E G Strauss, M König, R Rameriz-Mitchel, J H Strauss
1995 Journal of Virology  
The alphavirus genome is 11.8 kb in size. During infection, a 4.2-kb subgenomic RNA is also produced. Most alphaviruses package only the genomic RNA into virions, which are enveloped particles with icosahedral symmetry, having a triangulation number (T)‫.4؍‬ Aura virus, however, packages both the genomic RNA and the subgenomic RNA into virions. The genomic RNA is primarily packaged into a virion that has a diameter of 72 nm and which appears to be identical to the virions produced by other
more » ... duced by other alphaviruses. The subgenomic RNA is packaged into two major, regular particles with diameters of 72 and 62 nm. The 72-nm-diameter particle appears to be identical in construction to virions containing genomic RNA. The 62-nm-diameter particle probably has T‫.3؍‬ The large and small Aura virions can be partially separated in sucrose gradients. In addition to these two major classes of particles, there are other particles produced that appear to arise from abortive assembly. From these results and from previous studies of alphavirus assembly, we suggest that during assembly of alphavirus nucleocapsids in the infected cell there is a specific initiation event followed by recruitment of additional capsid subunits into the complex, that the triangulation number of the complex is not predetermined but depends upon the size of the RNA and interactions that occur during assembly, and that budding of assembled nucleocapsids results in the acquisition of an envelope containing glycoproteins arranged in a manner determined by the nucleocapsid.
doi:10.1128/jvi.69.3.1741-1746.1995 fatcat:j5a6wmpzyrcabehniz3itvjyv4