Abstract Several experimental data support the idea that certain mammalian cells are unable to replicate influenza viruses type A, although these viruses can efficiently penetrate the cells. This cannot be attributed to a lack of specific receptors on the cell surface, but depends upon the failure of specific step(s) to occur during viral growth. Here we report a study of abortiveness of human and avian type A influenza viruses in HeLa 229 cells. Viral polypeptide synthesis was monitored by [35S]methionine pulse labelling at several time points after infection, showing that normal amounts of virus-induced components were synthesized. Cellular fractionation of HeLa 229 cells infected by influenza viruses showed that the distribution of viral proteins into nuclear and cytoplasmic compartments was comparable to that seen in the permissive host, chick embryo fibroblasts. Viral HA glycoprotein, produced during the infectious cycle, was entirely found in the cytoplasm of infected HeLa 229 cells. The polypeptide was able to agglutinate red blood cells but did not show positive haemadsorption even at late times of infection. Therefore it seems that during the maturation of viral particles there is a failure of the haemagglutinin to perform a correct insertion into the plasma membrane of infected HeLa 229 cells. Keywords Influenza A viruses; Maturation; Abortive cycle; HeLa 229 cells Correspondence to: G. Conti, Institute of Microbiology, University of Parma Medical School, 43100 Parma, Italy. Copyright © 1990 Published by Elsevier B.V. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. SciVerse® is a registered trademark of Elsevier Properties S.A., used under license. ScienceDirect® is a registered trademark of Elsevier B.V.
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