Brefeldin A inhibits pestivirus release from infected cells, without affecting its assembly and infectivity.
ABSTRACT The enveloped bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) is a member of the Pestivirus genus within the Flaviviridae family. While considerable information has been gathered on virus entry into the host cell, genome structure and protein function, little is known about pestivirus morphogenesis and release from cells. Here, we analyzed the intracellular localization, N-glycan processing and secretion of BVDV using brefeldin A (BFA), which blocks protein export from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and causes disruption of the Golgi complex with subsequent fusion of its cis and medial cisternae with the ER. BFA treatment of infected cells resulted in complete inhibition of BVDV secretion and increased co-localization of the envelope glycoproteins with the cis-Golgi marker GM 130. Processing of the N-linked glycans was affected by BFA, however, virus assembly was not perturbed and intracellular virions were fully infectious, suggesting that trafficking beyond the cis-Golgi is not a prerequisite for pestivirus infectivity.