1887

Abstract

The are a family of small, non-enveloped, insect RNA viruses consisting of one or two single-stranded, positive-sense genomic RNAs encapsidated in an icosahedral capsid with =4 symmetry. Tetravirus procapsids undergo maturation when exposed to a low pH environment . While the structural biology of the conformational changes that mediate acid-dependent maturation is well understood, little is known about the significance of acid-dependent maturation . To address this question, the capsid-coding sequence of the tetravirus was expressed in cells. Virus-like particles were shown to assemble as procapsids that matured spontaneously as the cells began to age. Growth in the presence of hydrogen peroxide or acetic acid, which induced apoptosis or programmed cell death in the yeast cells, resulted in virus-like particle maturation. The results demonstrate that assembly-dependent maturation of tetravirus procapsids is linked to the onset of apoptosis in yeast cells. We propose that the reduction in pH required for tetraviral maturation may be the result of cytosolic acidification, which is associated with the early onset of programmed cell death in infected cells.

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2007-05-01
2019-11-22
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