The distribution of three adenovirus-encoded DNA replication proteins in the nucleus of human 293 cells was studied by immunogold electron microscopy. The infected nuclei contained four morphologically distinct inclusions. They were highly electron-dense granules (type I), compact fibrogranular masses of medium electron density (type II), filamentous masses of low electron density (type III) and large polygonal crystals (type IV). In immunogold labelling studies, antibodies to the adenovirus single-stranded DNA-binding protein (DBP) and antibodies to single-stranded DNA showed extensive binding to the type III inclusions. The antibodies to the adenovirus DNA polymerase (AdPol) and terminal protein (TP) predominantly labelled type II inclusions. Double immunogold labelling studies detected low levels of AdPol and TP in type III inclusions and DBP in type II inclusions. The selective distribution of DNA replication proteins suggests that the type II and III inclusions represent two functionally different entities that may be involved in two different aspects of adenovirus DNA replication, i.e. chain initiation and elongation.


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