Oropouche virus (OROV) is the etiological agent of Oropouche fever, a febrile illness frequent in South America. Despite its importance, the replicative cycle of this Orthobunyavirus is only starting to emerge. In this study we described the assembly pathway of OROV in Hela cells. After a thorough description of OROV one-step replication cycle, we observed by Immunofluorescence large vesicle-like structures enriched in OROV proteins termed viral factories (Vfs). These vesicles were associated with cis-Golgi (Giantin), trans-Golgi network (TGN46) and endosomal (HRS) proteins. Immuno-EM analysis of these Vfs revealed a resemblance with multivesicular body structure, which also contained viral particles. Interestingly, no leakage of late endosomal proteins (CD63 and Lamp1) was observed associated with Vfs. Therefore, we looked if ESCRT (Endosomal Sorting Complexes required for Transport) machinery could play a role in OROV replication. Depletion of Tsg101 (ESCRT-I) and Alix by siRNA compromised Vfs formation (∼40% in both cases) that contained a significantly lower number of intra-luminal viral-like particles (∼50% in both cases). Additionally, depletion of Alix led to a strong reduction in viral production (∼80%). Moreover, the overexpression of a dominant negative form of the AAATPase Vps4A (Vps4E/Q), which disrupts the MVB pathway, led to an enlargement in Vfs’ area (∼119%), where Vps4E/Q accumulated. Importantly, we also detected a colocalization between Vps4E/Q/TGN46 and Alix/TGN46 in viral factories, suggesting an involvement of ESCRT machinery, which is re-localized to the TGN in virus assembly. Therefore, our data represents an unprecedented mechanism of how viruses hijack host cell components for coordinated morphogenesis.

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