Ebola virus VP40 late domains are not essential for viral replication in cell culture

Gabriele Neumann, Hideki Ebihara, Ayato Takada, Takeshi Noda, Darwyn Kobasa, Luke D. Jasenosky, Shinji Watanabe, Jin H. Kim, Heinz Feldmann, Yoshihiro Kawaoka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Ebola virus particle formation and budding are mediated by the VP40 protein, which possesses overlapping PTAP and PPXY late domain motifs (7-PTAPPXY-13). These late domain motifs have also been found in the Gag proteins of retroviruses and the matrix proteins of rhabdo- and arenaviruses. While in vitro studies suggest a critical role for late domain motifs in the budding of these viruses, including Ebola virus, it remains unclear as to whether the VP40 late domains play a role in Ebola virus replication. Alteration of both late domain motifs drastically reduced VP40 particle formation in vitro. However, using reverse genetics, we were able to generate recombinant Ebola virus containing mutations in either or both of the late domains. Viruses containing mutations in one or both of their late domain motifs were attenuated by one log unit. Transmission and scanning electron microscopy did not reveal appreciable differences between the mutant and wild-type viruses released from infected cells. These findings indicate that the Ebola VP40 late domain motifs enhance virus replication but are not absolutely required for virus replication in cell culture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10300-10307
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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