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Title: Emergence of a coronavirus infectious bronchitis virus mutant with a truncated 3b gene: Functional characterization of the 3b protein in pathogenesis and replication
Authors: Shen, S.
Wen, Z.L. 
Liu, D.X.
Issue Date: 20-Jun-2003
Citation: Shen, S., Wen, Z.L., Liu, D.X. (2003-06-20). Emergence of a coronavirus infectious bronchitis virus mutant with a truncated 3b gene: Functional characterization of the 3b protein in pathogenesis and replication. Virology 311 (1) : 16-27. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: The subgenomic RNA 3 of IBV has been shown to be a tricistronic mRNA, encoding three products in IBV-infected cells. To explore if the least expressed ORF, ORF 3b, which encodes a nonstructural protein, is evolutionarily conserved and functionally indispensable for viral propagation in cultured cells, the Beaudette strain of IBV was propagated in chicken embryonated eggs for three passages and then adapted to a monkey kidney cell line, Vero. The 3b gene of passage 3 in embryonated eggs and passages 7, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35 50, and 65 in Vero cells were amplified by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and sequenced. The results showed that viral RNA extracted from passages 35, 50, and 65 contained a single A insertion in a 6A stretch of the 3b gene between nucleotides 24075 and 24080, whereas the early passages carried the normal 3b gene. This insertion resulted in a frameshift event and therefore, if expressed, a C-terminally truncated protein. We showed that the frameshifting product, cloned in a plasmid, was expressed in vitro and in cells transfected with the mutant construct. The normal product of the 3b gene is 64 amino acids long, whereas the frameshifting product is 34 amino acids long with only 17 homogeneous amino acid residues at the N-terminal half. Immunofluorescent studies revealed that the normal 3b protein was localized to the nucleus and the truncated product showed a "free" distribution pattern, indicating that the C-terminal portion of 3b was responsible for its nuclear localization. Comparison of the complete genome sequences (27.6 kb) of isolates p20c22 and p36c12 (from passages 20 and 36, respectively) revealed that p36c12 contains three amino acid substitutions, two in the 195-kDa protein (encoded by gene 1) and one in the S protein, in addition to the frameshifting 3b product. Further characterization of the two isolates demonstrated that p36c12 showed growth advantage over p20c22 in both Vero cells and chicken embryos and was more virulent in chicken embryos than p20c22. These results suggest that the 3b gene product is not essential for the replication of IBV. © 2003 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved.
Source Title: Virology
ISSN: 00426822
DOI: 10.1016/S0042-6822(03)00117-X
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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