Minimal exclusion of plasma membrane proteins during retroviral envelope formation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The retrovirus forms its envelope by budding at the plasma membrane (PM). This process is primarily driven by its cytoplasmic core-precursor protein, Gag, as shown by the efficient formation of virus-like Gag particles in the absence of its envelope protein, Env. Most interestingly, several studies have demonstrated incorporation of various PM proteins into retrovirus, but the underlying mechanism of this phenomenon has remained elusive. We have purified Moloney murine leukemia virus Gag particles by sedimentation in an iodixanol gradient and donor PMs by flotation in a sucrose gradient and compared their protein compositions at equal lipid basis. We found that most PM proteins are present at similar density in both membranes. The inclusion of PM proteins was unaffected by incorporation of Env protein into the envelope of the Gag particles and whether these were produced at high or low level in the cells. These findings indicate that most PM proteins become incorporated into the retrovirus envelope without significant sorting. This feature of retrovirus assembly should be considered when studying retrovirus functions and developing retrovirus vectors.


  • Maria Hammarstedt
  • K Wallengren
  • K W Pedersen
  • N Roos
  • H Garoff
External organisations
  • External Organization - Unknown
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cell and Molecular Biology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7527-7532
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Publication categoryResearch
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographic note

The information about affiliations in this record was updated in December 2015. The record was previously connected to the following departments: Stem Cell and Pancreas Developmental Biology (013212044)