The application of a PRRSV reverse genetic system for the study of nonstructural protein (nsp) function
Infectious cDNA clones of PRRSV make it possible to construct marker viruses for the study of virus replication and pathogenesis. The nonstructural protein 2 (nsp2) of porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is the single largest protein produced during virus replication. The cDNA of the pCMV-129 infectious PRRSV clone was modified by creating unique Mlu I and SgrA I restrictions sites at nucleotide (nt) positions 3,219 and 3,614, respectively: both located within the C-terminal region of nsp2. cDNAs coding for oligo- and polypeptide tags, including FLAG, enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) and firefly luciferase were inserted into the newly created restriction sites. The results showed that only the EGFP-containing genomes were properly expressed and produced virus. EGFP fluorescence, but not EGFP immunoreactivity, was lost during passage of recombinant EGFP viruses in culture. Sequencing of a fluorescence-negative EGFP virus showed that the EGFP remained intact, except for the appearance of mutations that may affect chromophore formation. The results show that nsp2 can be a site for the expression of foreign proteins.
Removal of the region between Mlu I and SgrA I sites resulted in a virus that contained a 131 amino acid deletion. The deleted region was replaced with EGFP or an eight amino acid influenza hemagglutanin (HA) tag. Recombinant viruses were used to infect pigs. Gross and micro-histopathology showed reduced pathogenesis when compared to the parent wild-type virus. The 131 amino acid peptide, when expressed as a recombinant protein and coated onto enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) plates, was recognized by sera from pigs infected with wild-type virus, but not the deletion mutants. The results from this study show that nsp2 is a potential target for the development of marker vaccines that can differentiate infected from vaccinated animals (DIVA) and for virus attenuation.
School:Kansas State University
School Location:USA - Kansas
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:prrsv biology veterinary science 0778
Date of Publication:01/01/2007