Student Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Picornavirus multiplication is intimately associated with intracellular membranes and affects their production and distribution within the cell. We have shown that the density distribution of cytoplasmic membranes separated by isopycnic centrifugation in discontinuous sucrose gradients is progressively altered after infection of HeLa cells with poliovirus. The most striking change is a very large increase in the smooth microsomal membranes with which viral RNA synthesis is associated. These membranes begin to increase between 2.5 and 3.5 hours after infection, and continue to proliferate late in the virus growth cycle, at a time when cellular protein and nucleic acid syntheses are much reduced. These smooth membranes differ from the membranes in the corresponding fraction from uninfected cells in several ways. They have a higher phospholipid/protein ratio and the phospholipid composition is altered. We have confirmed that the viral RNA polymerase activity is firmly associated with the membranes in this fraction and that it may be localized in a complex with a sedimentation constant of 130 S after lysis of the membranes with deoxycholate.


A thesis submitted to the Faculty of The Rockefeller University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy

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