The Cucumber mosaic virus Ixora isolate (CMV) coat protein gene (CP) was placed under the transcriptional control of the duplicated subgenomic CP promoter of a Potato virus X (PVX)-based vector. In vitro RNA transcripts were inoculated onto Nicotiana benthamiana plants and recombinant CMV capsid proteins were identified on Western blots probed with CMV antibodies 5–7 days post-inoculation. PVX-produced CMV CP subunits were capable of assembling into virus-like particles (VLPs), which were visualized by electron microscopy. We further used the PVX/CMVCP system for transient expression of recombinant CMV CP constructs containing different neutralizing epitopes of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) engineered into the internal βH–βI (motif 5) loop. Both crude plant extracts and purified VLPs were immunoreactive with CMV antibodies as well as with epitope-specific antibodies to NDV, thus confirming the surface display of the engineered NDV epitope. Our study demonstrates the potential of PVX/CMVCP as an expression tool and as a presentation system for promising epitopes.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 1, 2006
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