Bluetongue virus tubules were purified from cells infected with a recombinant baculovirus containing the NS1 gene from bluetongue virus serotype 10, and expressed under control of the nuclear polyhedrosis virus polyhedrin promoter. These tubules were subjected to a variety of chemical and physical treatments and the resulting effects on tubule morphology were examined by electron microscopy. A number of morphological similarities were noted between bluetongue virus tubules and cellular microtubules despite a lack of homology between the component proteins at the primary sequence level. A possible multistranded helical configuration is proposed for the tubule structure.


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