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Optimization and application of a DNA-launched infectious clone of equine arteritis virus
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Qi T1, Wang X2.

Appl Microbiol Biotechnol. 2017 Nov 13

Abstract

Reverse genetics is one of the most powerful tools in modern virology. Equine arteritis virus (EAV) is the prototype member of the Equartevirus. In this study, a new reverse genetics system for the recovery of equine arteritis virus from a cDNA plasmid, which contains viral cDNA sequence flanked by hammerhead ribozyme (HamRz) and hepatitis delta virus ribozyme (HdvRz) sequences in both terminals of the viral genome, was developed by optimization of the promoter and terminator regions. Cellular RNA polymerase II drove the transcription of the viral genome. The results showed that the rescued virus (ic-EAV) shared similar morphological and growth characteristics with the wild-type (WT) virus, and could be distinguished from the WT virus via an engineered BspEI restriction site in the nsp3 gene. By using the reverse genetics method established in this study, a G-to-C silent mutation at site 12642 resulted in a significant change in the plaque size of the rescued virus. Moreover, an eGFP-labeled EAV was constructed by introducing the eGFP gene into the infectious clone of EAV, which facilitated the observation of the infection of EAV in target cells. Hence, the newly reverse genetics method of EAV established in this study can be easily manipulated and would be helpful for studying the pathogenic mechanism of EAV.

 
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