A procedure using the virus-associated reverse transcriptase was developed for following the kinetics of adsorption, penetration, and uncoating of murine leukemia virus. Viral adsorption to cell membrane was determined by assaying this enzyme activity in isolated debris of mechanically disrupted cells after infection with murine leukemia virus in the presence of actinomycin D. At 37°C, viral adsorption proceeded at a high initial rate, but after 5 min of incubation with the virus, it gradually slowed down. At 4°C, viral adsorption was slower but proceeded at a linear rate. Intracellular virus was determined by centrifuging the cytoplasmic fraction of the disrupted cells at 105,000 x g for 45 min and assaying reverse-transcriptase activity in the high-speed pellet thus obtained. Sucrose gradient analysis of the enzyme activity recovered from the cytoplasm of infected cells indicated that this activity represented intact virus particles. No appreciable amount of such particles was recovered from the cytoplasm of cells infected at 4°C. This indicates that the virions recovered from the cytoplasm of cells infected at 37°C are indeed intracellular virus particles which penetrated into the cells and not just membrane-bound particles mechanically released to the cytoplasmic fraction during cell disruption. By this procedure intracellular virus was found to accumulate in the cytoplasm, reaching a maximal level within 20 min. The accumulated intracellular virus particles gradually disappeared from the cytoplasm, evidently due to their uncoating which was completed within 80 min.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science