When rabies virus ( strain) was purified by precipitation with zinc acetate, Sephadex filtration, and centrifuging in a sucrose density gradient, usually about half of the virus particles spontaneously lost a portion of their envelope phospholipids. Because of differences in buoyant density, partially delipidized virus particles (about 1.16 g./cm.) can be separated from intact virus (about 1.14 g./cm.) by centrifuging in a sucrose density gradient. High egg passage virus ( strain) purified by the same procedure, did not exhibit this type of heterogeneity. The release of phospholipids from strain virus particles did not cause a marked decrease in the infectivity of the virus, but the morphology of the virus envelope changed from bullet- to bag-shaped. The protein (glycoprotein) composition and the RNA contents of intact and partially delipidized virus forms were similar.


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