Mimivirus Viral Factories

Infection of diverse viruses results in the formation of highly elaborate cytoplasmic viral factories, in which viral replication and assembly occur. Structural studies of such factories, generated by large DNA viruses such as Vaccinia and Mimivirus highlighted the extreme complexity of these viral assemblies. While we and other groups conducted extensive studies on the structural features of intracellular viral factories generated by large DNA viruses, the detailed protein composition of these assemblies remained unknown. Here we conducted a high-resolution Mass Spectrometry analysis of the protein composition of highly purified Mimivirus factories isolated at progressive post-infection time-points. These studies provided us with an important insight into the composition, dynamics, structure and function of factories generated by diverse viruses, as well as characteristics of intracellular assemblies in general.