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The distributions of the rac1, rhoA and cdc42 proteins in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infected cells was examined. All three rhoGTPases were detected within inclusion bodies, and while the rhoA and rac1 proteins were associated with virus filaments, only the rac1 protein was localised throughout the virus filaments. RSV infection led to increased rac1 protein activation, and using the rac1 protein inhibitor NS23766 we provided evidence that the increased rac1 activation occurred at the site of RSV assembly and facilitated F-actin remodeling during virus morphogenesis. A non-infectious virus-like particle (VLP) assay showed that the RSV VLPs formed in lipid-raft microdomains containing the rac1 protein, together with F-actin and filamin-1 (cell proteins associated with virus filaments). This provided evidence that the virus envelope proteins are trafficked to membrane microdomains containing the rac1 protein. Collectively, these data provide evidence that the rac1 protein plays a direct role in the RSV assembly process. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Laxmi Iyer Ravi, Timothy J Tan, Boon Huan Tan, Richard J Sugrue. Virus-induced activation of the rac1 protein at the site of respiratory syncytial virus assembly is a requirement for virus particle assembly on infected cells. Virology. 2021 May;557:86-99

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PMID: 33677389

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