Sindbis virus maturation is inhibited by low NaCl medium in chick embryo cells and in one strain of BHK cells, but not in another strain of BHK cells which has a different passage history. The plasma membrane of the cells in which Sindbis virus maturation is resistant to low NaCl medium has a higher ratio of cholesterol to phospholipid than the other cells. Cholesterol-containing liposomes, but not cholesterol-free liposomes, can release Sindbis virus from low NaCl-inhibited cells. These results suggest that low NaCl medium may block Sindbis virus maturation by a mechanism which is influenced by the ratio of plasma membrane cholesterol to phospholipid.

Keyword(s): liposomes , maturation and Sindbis virus

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