Poxviruses differ from most DNA viruses by replicating entirely within the cytoplasm. The first discernible viral structures are crescents and spherical immature virions containing a single lipoprotein membrane bilayer with an external honeycomb lattice. Because this viral membrane displays no obvious continuity with a cellular organelle, a de novo origin was suggested. Nevertheless, transient connections between viral and cellular membranes could be difficult to resolve. Despite the absence of direct evidence, the intermediate compartment (ERGIC) between the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and Golgi apparatus and the ER itself were considered possible sources of crescent membranes. A break-through in understanding poxvirus membrane biogenesis has come from recent studies of the abortive replication of several vaccinia virus null mutants. Novel images showing continuity between viral crescents and the ER and the accumulation of immature virions in the expanded ER lumen provide the first direct evidence for a cellular origin of this poxvirus membrane.
Moss, B. (2015, May 1). Poxvirus membrane biogenesis. Virology. Academic Press Inc. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.virol.2015.02.003