Brefeldin A (BFA) is a macrolide antibiotic that blocks membrane traffic through the vesicular system and affects the glycosylation of viral glycoproteins. Treatment of HeLa cells infected with Semliki Forest virus (SFV) with BFA enhances the synthesis of late viral proteins. Proteolytic cleavage of p107 is partially blocked and viral glycoproteins accumulate in BFA-treated cells. This enhanced synthesis of late SFV proteins is due, at least in part, to an increase in the formation of the subgenomic SFV 26S mRNA. Since BFA blocks the replication of poliovirus genomes without affecting the cleavage of the translation initiation factor p220, protein synthesis was analysed in doubly infected cells. HeLa cells infected with SFV and poliovirus at the same multiplicity predominantly synthesize poliovirus proteins. But if these cells are treated with BFA they synthesize significant amounts of SFV capsid protein C for several hours, despite the fact that p220 has been degraded.
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