The envelope of vaccinia virus reveals an unusual phospholipid in Golgi complex membranes

Edward B. Cluett, Carolyn E. Machamer

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41 Scopus citations


We isolated two forms of enveloped vaccinia virus from infected HeLa cells to obtain membranes for the analysis of lipids of the cis-Golgi network and trans-Golgi network. The intracellular mature virus obtains its envelope by wrapping itself in the membranes of the cis-Golgi network. A fraction of these virions then acquires a second envelope by enwrapping trans-Golgi network membranes to form the intracellular enveloped virus. Lipids were analyzed by high performance thin layer chromatography and digital densitometry to establish a steady-state lipid profile of viral membranes, which should reflect the compositions of the cis-Golgi network and trans-Golgi network. Phosphatidylinositol was slightly enriched in the cis-Golgi network of HeLa cells, whereas the trans-Golgi network showed a minor increase in phosphatidylserine and sphingomyelin. Similarly, cholesterol was only slightly more abundant in the trans-Golgi compared to the cis-Golgi. An unusual lipid, semilysobisphosphatidic acid, was present in significant amounts in vaccinia envelopes. Semilysobisphosphatidic acid was present in similar levels in infected and uninfected cells, and was therefore not induced by vaccinia infection. Subcellular fractionation of HeLa cells indicated that the recovery of semilysobisphosphatidic acid paralleled the recovery of a Golgi marker. Furthermore, a lipid species that comigrated with semilysobisphosphatidic acid was also present in lipids extracted from highly purified, intact Golgi complexes from rat liver. Together, these results suggest that semilysobisphosphatidic acid is a normal component of Golgi membranes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2121-2131
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of cell science
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1996


  • Golgi
  • Lipid
  • Semilysobisphosphatidic acid
  • Vaccinia virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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