The synchronized directed transfer of the envelope glycoproteins of the influenza and vesicular stomatitis viruses from the Golgi apparatus to the apical and basolateral surfaces, respectively, of polarized Madin-Darby canine kidney (MDCK) cells can be achieved using temperature-sensitive mutant viruses and appropriate temperature shift protocols (Rindler, M. J., I. E. Ivanov, H. Plesken, and D. D. Sabatini, 1985, J. Cell Biol., 100:136-151). The microtubule-depolymerizing agents colchicine and nocodazole, as well as the microtubule assembly-promoting drug taxol, were found to interfere with the normal polarized delivery and exclusive segregation of hemagglutinin (HA) to the apical surface but not with the delivery and initial accumulation of G on the basolateral surface. Immunofluorescence analysis of permeabilized monolayers of influenza-infected MDCK cells treated with the microtubule-acting drugs demonstrated the presence of substantial amounts of HA protein on both the apical and basolateral surfaces. Moreover, in cells infected with the wild-type influenza virus, particles budded from both surfaces. Viral counts in electron micrographs showed that approximately 40% of the released viral particles accumulated in the intercellular spaces or were trapped between the cell and monolayer and the collagen support as compared to less than 1% on the basolateral surface of untreated infected cells. The effect of the microtubule inhibitors was not a result of a rapid redistribution of glycoprotein molecules initially delivered to the apical surface since a redistribution was not observed when the inhibitors were added to the cells after the HA was permitted to reach the apical surface at the permissive temperature and the synthesis of new HA was inhibited with cycloheximide. The altered segregation of the HA protein that occurs may result from the dispersal of the Golgi apparatus induced by the inhibitors or from the disruption of putative microtubules containing tracks that could direct vesicles from the trans Golgi apparatus to the cell surface. Since the vesicular stomatitis virus G protein is basolaterally segregated even when the Golgi elements are dispersed and hypothetical tracks disrupted, it appears that the two viral envelope glycoproteins are segregated by fundamentally different mechanisms and that the apical surface may be incapable of accepting vesicles carrying the G protein.

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