Ishida H, Murakami S, Kamiki H, Matsugo H, Katayam. Construction of an Influenza D Virus with an Eight-Segmented Genome. Viruses. 2021 Oct 27;13(11):2166
Influenza D virus (IDV) may cause the bovine respiratory disease complex, which is the most common and costly disease affecting the cattle industry. Previously, we revealed that eight segments could be actively packaged in its single virion, suggesting that IDV with the seven-segmented genome shows an agnostic genome packaging mechanism. Herein, we engineered an eight-segmented recombinant IDV in which the NS1 or NS2 genes were separated from NS segment into independent segments (NS1 or NS2 segments, respectively), leading to monocistronic translation of each NS protein. We constructed two plasmids: one for the viral RNA (vRNA)-synthesis of the NS1 segment with a silent mutation at the splicing acceptor site, which controls NS2 transcription in the NS segment; and another for the RNA synthesis of the NS2 segment, with deletion of the intron in the NS segment. These plasmids and six other vRNA-synthesis plasmids were used to fabricate an infectious eight-segmented IDV via reverse genetics. This system enables analysis of the functions of NS1 or NS2. We tested the requirement of the N-terminal overlapping region (NOR) in these proteins for viral infectivity. We rescued a virus with NOR-deleted NS2 protein, which displayed a growth rate equivalent to that of the eight-segmented virus with intact NS2. Thus, the NOR may not influence viral growth. In contrast, a virus with NOR-deleted NS1 protein could not be rescued. These results indicate that the eight-segmented rescue system of IDV may provide an alternative method to analyze viral proteins at the molecular level.
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