Tel. +49 30 838 51833 Fax. +49 30 838 451847
Equine arteritis virus (EAV), a member of the newly established family Arteriviridae, is a small, positive-stranded RNA virus. It carries two protein complexes in its envelope, gp5/M and the recently described gp2b/gp3/gp4 complex. We report here on several basic features of EAV replication in cell culture and on the protein composition of virus particles. We have also characterized gp2b, gp3, and gp4 expressed using a baculovirus system in insect cells. Finally, we provide evidence that EAV possess hemagglutinating and hemolytic activity. The hemolysis assay might be useful for determining which of the surface proteins carries the receptor-binding and membrane fusion activity of EAV.