Arenavirus budding: A common pathway with mechanistic differences

Svenja Wolff, Hideki Ebihara, Allison Groseth

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The Arenaviridae is a diverse and growing family of viruses that includes several agents responsible for important human diseases. Despite the importance of this family for public health, particularly in Africa and South America, much of its biology remains poorly understood. However, in recent years significant progress has been made in this regard, particularly relating to the formation and release of new enveloped virions, which is an essential step in the viral lifecycle. While this process is mediated chiefly by the viral matrix protein Z, recent evidence suggests that for some viruses the nucleoprotein (NP) is also required to enhance the budding process. Here we highlight and compare the distinct budding mechanisms of different arenaviruses, concentrating on the role of the matrix protein Z, its known late domain sequences, and the involvement of cellular endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) pathway components. Finally we address the recently described roles for the nucleoprotein NP in budding and ribonucleoprotein complex (RNP) incorporation, as well as discussing possible mechanisms related to its involvement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)528-549
Number of pages22
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 31 2013


  • Arenavirus
  • Budding
  • ESCRT pathway
  • Late domain
  • Matrix protein
  • Nucleoprotein

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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