Treatment of the infective component of vesicular stomatitis virus with Nonidet P40 produces an infective skeleton-like structure which has the shape and approximate size of the intact virus particle. The infectivity of the skeleton is enhanced 100 to 1000 fold by mixing with DEAE-dextran. The skeleton lacks the outer envelope and fringe structure and in consequence does not produce neutralizing antibodies in guinea pigs. The density of the skeleton is 1.22 g./ml. in potassium tartrate gradients compared with 1.14 g./ml. for the virus. Sodium deoxycholate removes protein from the skeleton and releases the filamentous ribonucleoprotein in an infective form. As with the skeleton, the infectivity of the ribonucleoprotein is enhanced by DEAE-dextran. Ribonuclease has no effect on the ribonucleoprotein but trypsin destroys its infectivity. The ribonucleoprotein has a density of 1.22 g./ml. in tartrate gradients, sediments at about 140 s in sucrose gradients and does not produce neutralizing antibodies in guinea-pigs.


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