We have studied SA7 (simian adenovirus 7) lytic infection at the ultrastructural level. The use of cytochemical techniques which specifically stain DNA or preferentially stain ribonucleoproteins permitted the analysis of the structure of the virus-induced nuclear inclusions, and revealed presumed virus DNA before the appearance of other nuclear alterations. Correlation of these findings with high resolution autoradiography enabled the functions of virus DNA replication and transcription to be ascribed to a defined nuclear inclusion. We demonstrate that the nucleolus remains distinct from the inclusion body, contrary to the situation in other adenovirus-infected cells. The functional role of host cell chromatin and of the nucleolus are discussed.


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