Delayed appearance of pseudotypes between vesicular stomatitis virus and influenza virus during mixed infection of MDCK cells

M. G. Roth, R. W. Compans

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


In intact Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cell monolayers, vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) matures only at basolateral membranes beneath tight junctions, whereas influenza virus buds from apical cell surfaces. Early in the growth cycle, the viral glycoproteins are restricted to the membrane domain from which each virus buds. We report here that phenotypic mixing and formation of VSV pseudotypes occurred when influenza virus-infected MDCK cells were superinfected with VSV. Up to 75% of the infectious VSV particles from such experiments were neutralized by antiserum specific for influenza virus, and a smaller proportion (up to 3%) were resistant to neutralization with antiserum specific for VSV. The latter particles, which were neutralized by antiserum to influenza A/WSN virus, are designated as VSV(WSN) pseudotypes. During mixed infections, both wild-type viruses were detected 1 to 2 h before either phenotypically mixed VSV or VSV(WSN) pseudotypes. Coincident with the appearance of cytopathic effects in the monolayer, the yield of pseudotypes rose dramatically. In contrast, in doubly infected BHK-21 cells, which do not show polarity in virus maturation sites and are not connected by tight junctions, VSV(WSN) pseudotypes were detected as soon as VSV titers rose to the minimum levels which allowed detection of pseudotypes, and the proportion observed remained relatively constant at later times. Examination of thin sections of doubly infected MDCK monolayers revealed that polarity in maturation sites was preserved for both viruses until approximately 12 h after inoculation with influenza virus, when disruption of junctional complexes was evident. Even at later periods, the majority of each virus type was associated with its normal membrane domain, suggesting that the sorting mechanisms responsible for directing the glycoproteins of VSV and influenza virus to separate surface domains continue to operate in doubly infected MDCK cells. The time course of VSV(WSN) pseudotype formation and changes in virus maturation sites are compatible with progressive mixing of viral glycoproteins at either intracellular or plasma membranes of doubly infected cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)848-860
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1981

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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