The regions of the infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV) genome with regulatory function are not known. In the present study, progressively deleted lengths of the 5′ noncoding region of segment A were constructed in pGL3 vectors having SV40 enhancer or promoter, and a luciferase (LUC) reporter gene. Transient transfections of the constructs made in a promoter-less pGL3-Enhancer vector when transfected in Vero cells and the lysates assayed for LUC expression, allowed the localization of maximal activity to the 32-nucleotide stretch (precursor polyprotein ORF positions −131 to −100), which is highly conserved at the 5′ end of both genome segments. This fragment, when evaluated in parallel in an enhancer-less pGL3-Promoter vector demonstrated no activity. To determine if this region is recognized by IBDV replicative proteins, we engineered modifications in an enhancer-less pGL3-Promoter vector where the terminal 32-bp fragment, the full-length noncoding region, or the noncodig region with the 32-bp fragment deleted was positioned in either the plus-sense or the minus-sense orientation immediately downstream of the SV40 promoter and upstream of the LUC gene. Transfections of these constructs in IBDV-infected and uninfected Vero cells resulted in the endogenous generation of recombinant viral-LUC RNAs containing the 5′ terminal viral RNA sequences in either the plus-sense or the minus-sense orientation. LUC assays of the infected cell lysates showed up-regulated expression of LUC only with constructs containing the 32-bp fragment in the minus-sense orientation. Deletion of this 32-bp fragment abolished such LUC expression. We therefore conclude that the 5′-terminal 32 base pairs of genomic segment A contain a major promoter element in IBDV. In addition, our results show that IBDV replicative proteins recognize and transcribe single-stranded RNA in vivo.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Dec 1, 1997
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