Measles virus matrix protein synthesized in a subacute sclerosing panencephalitis cell line

Science  07 Jun 1985:
Vol. 228, Issue 4704, pp. 1219-1221
DOI: 10.1126/science.4001938


Measles virus generally produces acute illness. Rarely, however, persistent infection of brain cells occurs, resulting in a chronic and fatal neurological disease, subacute sclerosing panencephalitis (SSPE). Evidence indicates that expression of the measles virus matrix protein is selectively restricted in this persistent infection, but the mechanism underlying this restriction has not been identified. Defective translation of matrix messenger RNA has been described in one SSPE cell line. This report presents evidence that in a different SSPE tissue culture cell line IP-3-Ca, the matrix protein is synthesized but fails to accumulate. A general scheme is proposed to reconcile the different levels at which restriction of matrix protein has been observed.