By pulse-labelling cells infected by adenovirus type 5 with [H]thymidine, extraction of the DNA and equilibrium density gradient centrifugation in caesium chloride, viral and cellular DNA synthesis could be readily differentiated. In the experimental system used, cellular DNA synthesis was inhibited early in infection and virus DNA synthesis began about 2 to 3 hr later. These events were related chronologically to the production of the virus antigens. When arginine was withdrawn from the cell culture medium, the production of virus DNA and the inhibition of cellular DNA synthesis was still apparent.

By labelling at later times when only virus DNA was being synthesized, the fate of the label could be followed during virus maturation. The results suggested that virus DNA was associated with heterogeneous membrane-containing structures before being assembled into virus particles.


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