Morphological changes in the T=3 capsid of flock house virus during cell entry

Hanna E. Walukiewicz, John E. Johnson, Anette Schneemann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report the identification and characterization of a viral intermediate formed during infection of Drosophila cells with the nodavirus Flock House virus (FHV). We observed that even at a very low multiplicity of infection, only 70% of the input virus stayed attached to or entered the cells, while the remaining 30% of the virus elated from cells after initial binding. The elated FHV particles did not rebind to Drosophila cells and, thus, could no longer initiate infection by the receptor-mediated entry pathway. FHV virus-like particles with the same capsid composition as native FHV but containing cellular RNA also exhibited formation of eluted particles when incubated with the cells. A maturation cleavage-defective mutant of FHV, however, did not. Compared to naïve FHV particles, i.e., particles that had never been incubated with cells, eluted particles showed an acid-sensitive phenotype and morphological alterations. Furthermore, eluted particles had lost a fraction of the internally located capsid protein gamma. Based on these results, we hypothesize that FHV eluted particles represent an infection intermediate analogous to eluted particles observed for members of the family Picornaviridae.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)615-622
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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