Cellular autophagy machinery is not required for vaccinia virus replication and maturation

Haiyan Zhang, Claude E. Monken, Yong Zhang, John Lenard, Noboru Mizushima, Edmund C. Lattime, Shengkan Jin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


The origin of the primary membrane of the vaccinia virus, a double-membrane structure that surrounds the immature virions (IV), is not fully understood. Here we investigated whether the primary membrane originates from the autophagic membrane. Morphologic studies by electron microscopy (EM) showed no apparent difference in viral maturation in the autophagy-deficient cell lines, the atg5-/- mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) and the beclin 1 -/- embryonic stem (ES) cells, compared to their isogenic wild-type counterparts. Moreover, viral growth curves demonstrated that vaccinia viruses replicate and mature in the autophagy-deficient cell lines as efficiently as they do in their isogenic wild type counterpart cells. This study indicates that the cellular autophagy machinery is not required for the life-cycle of vaccinia virus, suggesting that the primary vaccinia viral membrane does not originate from the autophagic membrane.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-95
Number of pages5
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


  • Atg5
  • Autophagy
  • Beclin1
  • Electron microscopy
  • Plaque assay
  • Vaccinia virus

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