Varicella-zoster virions (VZV) were isolated from cytoplasm of VZV-infected human fibroblasts by zone centrifugation in glycerol gradients followed by two cycles of equilibrium flotation on glycerol-tartrate gradients. The purified particles were characterized with respect to their morphology and polypeptide composition. VZV was found to be composed of at least 33 species of polypeptides which were identified by means of SDS-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis and autoradiography. They ranged in molecular weights from 16,000 to 244,000. Glycosylated components were identified by SDS-gel electrophoresis and autoradiography of purified [14C]glucosamine-labeled virus. VZV virions were found to contain at least 5 glycopeptides ranging in molecular weights from 140,000 to 52,000.
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