Lipidome analysis of rotavirus-infected cells confirms the close interaction of lipid droplets with viroplasms

Eleanor R Gaunt, Qifeng Zhang, Winsome Cheung, Michael J O Wakelam, Andrew M L Lever, Ulrich Desselberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Rotaviruses (RVs) cause acute gastroenteritis in infants and young children, and are globally distributed. Within the infected host cell, RVs establish replication complexes in viroplasms ('viral factories') to which lipid droplet organelles are recruited. To further understand this recently discovered phenomenon, the lipidomes of RV-infected and uninfected MA104 cells were investigated. Cell lysates were subjected to equilibrium ultracentrifugation through iodixanol gradients. Fourteen different classes of lipids were differentiated by mass spectrometry. The concentrations of virtually all lipids were elevated in RV-infected cells. Fractions of low density (1.11-1.15 g ml⁻¹), in which peaks of the RV dsRNA genome and lipid droplet- and viroplasm-associated proteins were observed, contained increased amounts of lipids typically found concentrated in the cellular organelle lipid droplets, confirming the close interaction of lipid droplets with viroplasms. A decrease in the ratio of the amounts of surface to internal components of lipid droplets upon RV infection suggested that the lipid droplet-viroplasm complexes became enlarged.
Original languageEnglish
Article number7
Pages (from-to)1576-86
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of General Virology
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Animals
  • Cell Line
  • Humans
  • Inclusion Bodies
  • Kidney/cytology
  • Kidney/virology
  • Lipids/analysis
  • Lipids/chemistry
  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Organelles/chemistry
  • Organelles/virology
  • Rotavirus/pathogenicity
  • Rotavirus/physiology
  • Ultracentrifugation
  • Virus Replication


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