Dissecting the Components of Sindbis Virus from Arthropod and Vertebrate Hosts: Implications for Infectivity Differences

Carmen A. Dunbar, Vamseedhar Rayaprolu, Joseph C.Y. Wang, Christopher J. Brown, Emma Leishman, Sara Jones-Burrage, Jonathan C. Trinidad, Heather B. Bradshaw, David E. Clemmer, Suchetana Mukhopadhyay, Martin F. Jarrold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Sindbis virus (SINV) is an enveloped, single-stranded RNA virus, which is transmitted via mosquitos to a wide range of vertebrate hosts. SINV produced by vertebrate, baby hamster kidney (BHK) cells is more than an order of magnitude less infectious than SINV produced from mosquito (C6/36) cells. The cause of this difference is poorly understood. In this study, charge detection mass spectrometry was used to determine the masses of intact SINV particles isolated from BHK and C6/36 cells. The measured masses are substantially different: 52.88 MDa for BHK derived SINV and 50.69 MDa for C6/36 derived. Further analysis using several mass spectrometry-based methods and biophysical approaches indicates that BHK derived SINV has a substantially higher mass than C6/36 derived because in the lipid bilayer, there is a higher portion of lipids containing long chain fatty acids. The difference in lipid composition could influence the organization of the lipid bilayer. As a result, multiple stages of the viral lifecycle may be affected including assembly and budding, particle stability during transmission, and fusion events, all of which could contribute to the differences in infectivity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)892-902
Number of pages11
JournalACS Infectious Diseases
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 14 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Infectious Diseases


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