Abortive infection with Sindbis virus of a Chinese hamster ovary cell mutant defective in phosphatidylserine and phosphatidylethanolamine biosynthesis

Osamu Kuge, Yuzuru Akamatsu, Masahiro Nishijima

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The effects of phosphatidylserine starvation on the infection with Sindbis virus (an enveloped RNA virus) have been investigated in a Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cell mutant (strain PSA-3) which requires exogenously added phosphatidylserine for cell growth because it lacks the ability to synthesize this phospholipid. When PSA-3 cells were grown in the absence of phosphatidylserine, the cellular contents of phosphatidylserine and also phosphatidylethanolamine produced through decarboxylation of phosphatidylserine decreased. Sindbis virus production in the mutant cells decreased immediately upon phosphatidylserine deprivation as did the contents of phosphatidylserine and phosphatidylethanolamine, whereas the cell growth, viability, and syntheses of protein, DNA and RNA remained normal for approx. 40 h phosphatidylserine starvation. Although PSA-3 cells grown without phosphatidylserine for 24 h were able to bind and internalize Sindbis virus almost normally, viral RNA synthesis was greatly reduced in the cells, suggesting that nucleocapsids of internalized Sindbis virus are not normally released into the cytoplasm. Unlike mammalian cell mutants defective in endosomal acidification, PSA-3 cells grown without phosphatidylserine were not resistant to diphtheria toxin. Furthermore, the yield of virions and viral RNA synthesis in PSA-3 cells were not completely restored on brief exposure of the cells to low pH medium following virus adsorption, which is known to induce artificial fusion of the viral envelope with the plasma membrane of normal host cells and then injection of viral nucleocapsids into the cytoplasm. Our data demonstrate the requirement of membrane phospholipids, such as phosphatidylserine and/or phosphatidylethanolamine, in CHO cells for Sindbis virus infection, and we discuss their possible roles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-69
Number of pages9
JournalBBA - Biomembranes
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Nov 17 1989
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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