Strains of equine arteritis virus (EAV) differ in their virulence phenotypes, causing anywhere from subclinical infections to severe disease in horses. Here, we describe the in silico design and de novo synthesis of a full-length infectious cDNA clone of the horse-adapted virulent Bucyrus strain (VBS) of EAV encoding mCherry along with in vitro characterization of the progeny virions (EAV sVBSmCherry) in terms of host-cell tropism, replicative capacity and stability of the mCherry coding sequences following sequential passage in cell culture. The relative stability of the mCherry sequence during sequential cell culture passage coupled with a comparable host-cell range phenotype (equine endothelial cells, CD3 + T cells and CD14 + monocytes) to parental EAV VBS suggest that EAV-sVBSmCherry-derived virus could become a valuable research tool for identification of host-cell tropism determinants and for characterization of the viral proteins involved in virus attachment and entry into different subpopulations of peripheral blood mononuclear cells. Furthermore, this study demonstrates that advances in nucleic acid synthesis technology permit synthesis of complex viral genomes with overlapping genes like those of arteriviruses, thereby circumventing the need for complicated molecular cloning techniques. In summary, de novo nucleic acid synthesis technology facilitates innovative viral vector design without the tedium and risks posed by more-conventional laboratory techniques.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 1, 2016
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