Chicken fibroblasts and MDCK cells were infected with influenza virus labelled with either H-uridine or C-amino acids, and the location in infected cells and properties of input virus-labelled structures were studied. Input virus RNA and protein were found in the cytoplasm of nuclei 1 h p.i. A part of the intranuclear parental structures was associated with chromatin while the other part could be extracted from nucleoplasm by 0.16 -NaCl and represented free ribonucleoprotein (RNP) particles. These RNPs sedimented in glycerol velocity gradients at 40 to 70S, very similar to cytoplasmic RNPs, but differed distinctly from them in buoyant density. The bulk of cytoplasmic RNPs after fixation with formaldehyde banded in CsCl at 1.34 g/ml while nucleoplasmic RNPs banded at 1.39 or 1.41 g/ml. RNPs isolated from virions and infected cells contained the NP polypeptide which was revealed by SDS-PAGE analysis as a double band. The ratio of the two bands varied in cytoplasmic and nucleoplasmic RNPs, the lower band being dominant in cytoplasmic but not in nucleoplasmic RNPs. In addition, cytoplasmic RNPs were phosphorylated. The possible significance of intracellular RNP modifications for virus replication is discussed.


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