The family Hantaviridae
within the Bunyavirales
order comprises tri-segmented negative sense RNA viruses, many of which are rodent-borne emerging pathogens associated with fatal human disease. In contrast, hantavirus infection of corresponding rodent hosts results in inapparent or latent infections, which can be recapitulated in cultured cells that become persistently infected. In this study, we used Tula virus (TULV) to investigate the location of hantavirus replication during early, peak and persistent phases of infection, over a 30-day time course. Using immunofluorescent (IF) microscopy, we showed that the TULV nucleocapsid protein (NP) is distributed within both punctate and filamentous structures, with the latter increasing in size as the infection progresses. Transmission electron microscopy of TULV-infected cell sections revealed these filamentous structures comprised aligned clusters of filament bundles. The filamentous NP-associated structures increasingly co-localized with the Golgi and with the stress granule marker TIA-1 over the infection time course, suggesting a redistribution of these cellular organelles. The analysis of the intracellular distribution of TULV RNAs using fluorescent in-situ hybridization revealed that both genomic and mRNAs co-localized with Golgi-associated filamentous compartments that were positive for TIA. These results show that TULV induces a dramatic reorganization of the intracellular environment, including the establishment of TULV RNA synthesis factories in re-modelled Golgi compartments.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited