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.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science