Rabies Virus

Products of sequential degradation


Steven K. Vernon

WHRI, Wyeth-Ayerst Research, Radnor, Pa.




All samples were negatively stained with sodium phosphotungstate or ammonium molybdate.


Virions.JPG (42047 bytes)

Bullet-shaped rabies virions with glycoprotein-studded envelopes. The "spikes" cover the entire envelope surface, including the quasiplanar ends of the viruses. End-on views of the spikes produce honeycomb patterns over the envelope surface. Negative stain has penetrated axial channels in the two viruses on the left.



spikes.JPG (11502 bytes)

A portion of the envelope of a stain-penetrated virus envelope. An electron-transparent layer is studded with glycoprotein spikes, each of which consists of an external, wedge-shaped knob on a stalk that enters the electron-transparent layer.



virRNPs.JPG (57206 bytes)

Viral ribonucleoprotein (RNP) coils in stain-penetrated rabies virions. In (a), striations of the helical RNP are visible along the length of the virus. Stain outlines RNP in the particles in (b-d), all of which have disrupted envelopes. The circular particle in (e) is an end-on view of a stain-penetrated virus; its RNP spirals toward the central axis as the envelope narrows at the rounded end. Subunits give the coiled strand a "beaded" appearance.



Broken.JPG (50236 bytes)

RNP spread over the carbon film after its release from a disrupted virion.



RNPs.JPG (44670 bytes)

Exposure of helical RNP by deenvelopment of virions. The envelope of the leftmost virus, shown at an early stage of deenvelopment, has been "wrinkled" during treatment with a surfactant. The other structures are RNP helices that retain their intraviral shapes after being deenveloped in situ.



model.GIF (48486 bytes)

Diagrammatic representation of the rabies virion deduced from electron microscopy and protein analyses.(Adapted from J. Ultrastruct. Res. 41: 29-42 [1972])




Vernon, S., Neurath, A., & Rubin, B. J. Ultrastruct. Res. 41: 29-42 (1972)

Neurath, A., Vernon, S., Dobkin, M., & Rubin, B. J. Gen. Virol. 14: 33-48 (1972)

Neurath, A., Vernon, S., Wiener, F., Hartzell, R., & Rubin, B. Microbios 7: 7-15 (1973)