RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) is the replicase of positive-strand RNA viruses. Expression and characterization of the replicase are the first steps in the elucidation of the virus replication mechanism. We expressed nonstructural protein 5B (NS5B) of classical swine fever virus (CSFV) as a fusion protein with green fluorescent protein (GFP) in porcine kidney cells (PK-15 cells), natural host cells of CSFV. The expressed CSFV NS5B-GFP fusion protein possessed RdRp activity. By fluorescence microscope it was observed that the density of the fusion protein near cytoplasmic membranes was higher than that in other parts of cells. This was in contrast to the distribution of the GFP alone which was uniformly distributed throughout the cytoplasm. The GFP is a signal for the location of NS5B in a host cell that allows in vitro and in vivo investigation of the distribution of plus-strand RNA virus RdRp.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 1, 2002
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