Addition of 50 µg/ml chloroquine to neuroblastoma cells 1 h before infection with temperature-sensitive mutant G31 (III) of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) prevented virus-induced cell fusion from occurring. Interestingly, addition of chloroquine after infection still inhibited cell fusion. Based on the number of fusion events required to produce the polykaryocytes observed, cell fusion was inhibited 92% when chloroquine was added 1 h post-infection and 77% when chloroquine was added 2 h post-infection. The inhibition of virus-induced cell fusion could not be accounted for by an inhibition of virus protein synthesis because the virus protein synthesis measured 6 h post-infection was 90% of that in untreated, infected cells with chloroquine added 1 h post-infection, and the same as untreated, infected cells when chloroquine was added 2 h post-infection. No virus proteins were made, however, when chloroquine was added before infection, which is consistent with a chloroquine-mediated inhibition of virus uncoating. The release of infectious virions was completely inhibited when chloroquine was added before infection or 1 or 2 h post-infection, which indicated an inhibition of virus maturation in the later stages of virus assembly. By indirect immunofluorescence the virus glycoprotein (G protein) could not be detected on the surface of chloroquine-treated, infected cells, but the G protein was present inside the treated cells. With I-labelled anti-G protein IgG, 16% of the G protein found on the surface of untreated, infected cells was on the cell surface when chloroquine was added 2 h post-infection. When chloroquine was removed from infected cells, the G protein accumulated at the cell surface, and this accumulation could not be prevented by tunicamycin, an inhibitor of glycosylation. Furthermore, galactose was incorporated into the G protein in the presence of chloroquine. Therefore, the VSV G protein was being synthesized and glycosylated in the presence of chloroquine but the drug prevented the expression of the glycoprotein at the cell surface during the final stages of G protein assembly.


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