Cryotomography of budding influenza a virus reveals filaments with diverse morphologies that mostly do not bear a genome at their distal end

Vijayakrishnan, S. , Loney, C. , Jackson, D., Suphamungmee, W., Rixon, F.J. and Bhella, D. (2013) Cryotomography of budding influenza a virus reveals filaments with diverse morphologies that mostly do not bear a genome at their distal end. PLoS Pathogens, 9(6), e1003413. (doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1003413)

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Influenza viruses exhibit striking variations in particle morphology between strains. Clinical isolates of influenza A virus have been shown to produce long filamentous particles while laboratory-adapted strains are predominantly spherical. However, the role of the filamentous phenotype in the influenza virus infectious cycle remains undetermined. We used cryo-electron tomography to conduct the first three-dimensional study of filamentous virus ultrastructure in particles budding from infected cells. Filaments were often longer than 10 microns and sometimes had bulbous heads at their leading ends, some of which contained tubules we attribute to M1 while none had recognisable ribonucleoprotein (RNP) and hence genome segments. Long filaments that did not have bulbs were infrequently seen to bear an ordered complement of RNPs at their distal ends. Imaging of purified virus also revealed diverse filament morphologies; short rods (bacilliform virions) and longer filaments. Bacilliform virions contained an ordered complement of RNPs while longer filamentous particles were narrower and mostly appeared to lack this feature, but often contained fibrillar material along their entire length. The important ultrastructural differences between these diverse classes of particles raise the possibility of distinct morphogenetic pathways and functions during the infectious process.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Vijayakrishnan, Dr Swetha and Bhella, Professor David and Loney, Mr Colin and Rixon, Dr Frazer
Authors: Vijayakrishnan, S., Loney, C., Jackson, D., Suphamungmee, W., Rixon, F.J., and Bhella, D.
Subjects:Q Science > QR Microbiology > QR355 Virology
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Infection Immunity and Inflammation
Journal Name:PLoS Pathogens
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN (Online):1553-7374
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2013 The Authors
First Published:First published in PLoS Pathogens 9(6):e62597
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
656541Structural studies of human viruses and host interactionsDavid BhellaMedical Research Council (MRC)MC_UU_12014/7MVLS III - CENTRE FOR VIRUS RESEARCH