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Journal Articles Intervirology Year : 2010

Inside the Lifestyle of the Virophage


Objective(s): We sought to better characterize Sputnik, the first isolated virophage, and to analyze its parasitic lifestyle during co-infection with Marseillevirus (a new giant virus) in Acanthamoeba castellanii. Methods: A combination of electron microscopy, immunofluorescence microscopy, and real-time PCR was used to characterize the kinetics of the viral replication cycle. RT-PCR was performed to detect RNAs inside the Sputnik virions. Results: Sputnik is a new viral entity carrying an almost complete ready-to-use set of viral RNAs (20 out of 21). Sputnik does not replicate with Marseillevirus but delays its replication cycle. While Marseillevirus is successfully internalized by A. castellanii following co-infections with Mamavirus and Sputnik, it does not initiate a replication cycle. In contrast, both Marseillevirus and Mamavirus can replicate in the amoeba in case of co-infection, but the development of one is exclusive from the other inside a single amoeba cell. Conclusions: This work provides new insight into the Sputnik replication cycle with another giant virus and confirms that Sputnik is a virophage. It shows new dimensions of the interactions existing among giant viruses.

Dates and versions

hal-02008664 , version 1 (05-02-2019)



Christelle Desnues, Didier Raoult. Inside the Lifestyle of the Virophage. Intervirology, 2010, 53 (5), pp.293-303. ⟨10.1159/000312914⟩. ⟨hal-02008664⟩
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