Article

A single point mutation in nonstructural protein NS2 of bovine viral diarrhea virus results in temperature-sensitive attenuation of viral cytopathogenicity.

Department of Infectious Diseases, Institute of Virology, University of Veterinary Medicine, D-30559 Hannover, Germany.
Journal of Virology (Impact Factor: 5.08). 09/2009; 83(23):12415-23. DOI: 10.1128/JVI.01487-09
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT For Bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV), the type species of the genus Pestivirus in the family Flaviviridae, cytopathogenic (cp) and noncytopathogenic (ncp) viruses are distinguished according to their effect on cultured cells. It has been established that cytopathogenicity of BVDV correlates with efficient production of viral nonstructural protein NS3 and with enhanced viral RNA synthesis. Here, we describe generation and characterization of a temperature-sensitive (ts) mutant of cp BVDV strain CP7, termed TS2.7. Infection of bovine cells with TS2.7 and the parent CP7 at 33 degrees C resulted in efficient viral replication and a cytopathic effect. In contrast, the ability of TS2.7 to cause cytopathogenicity at 39.5 degrees C was drastically reduced despite production of high titers of infectious virus. Further experiments, including nucleotide sequencing of the TS2.7 genome and reverse genetics, showed that a Y1338H substitution at residue 193 of NS2 resulted in the temperature-dependent attenuation of cytopathogenicity despite high levels of infectious virus production. Interestingly, TS2.7 and the reconstructed mutant CP7-Y1338H produced NS3 in addition to NS2-3 throughout infection. Compared to the parent CP7, NS2-3 processing was slightly decreased at both temperatures. Quantification of viral RNAs that were accumulated at 10 h postinfection demonstrated that attenuation of the cytopathogenicity of the ts mutants at 39.5 degrees C correlated with reduced amounts of viral RNA, while the efficiency of viral RNA synthesis at 33 degrees C was not affected. Taken together, the results of this study show that a mutation in BVDV NS2 attenuates viral RNA replication and suppresses viral cytopathogenicity at high temperature without altering NS3 expression and infectious virus production in a temperature-dependent manner.

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    ABSTRACT: Bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) is the prototype Pestivirus. BVDV infection is distributed worldwide and causes serious problems for the livestock industry. The thiosemicarbazone of 5,6-dimethoxy-1-indanone (TSC) is a non-nucleoside polymerase inhibitor (NNI) of BVDV. All TSC-resistant BVDV variants (BVDV-TSCr T1-5) present an N264D mutation in the NS5B gene (RdRp) whereas the variant BVDV-TSCr T1 also presents an NS5B A392E mutation. In the present study, we carried out twenty passages of BVDV-TSCr T1-5 in MDBK cells in the absence of TSC to evaluate the stability of the resistance. The viral populations obtained (BVDV R1-5) remained resistant to the antiviral compound and conserved the mutations in NS5B associated with this phenotype. Along the passages, BVDV R2, R3 and R5 presented a delay in the production of cytopathic effect that correlated with a decrease in cell apoptosis and intracellular accumulation of viral RNA. The complete genome sequences that encode for NS2 to NS5B, Npro and Erns were analyzed. Additional mutations were detected in the NS5B of BVDV R1, R3 and R4. In both BVDV R2 and R3, most of the mutations found were localized in NS5A, whereas in BVDV R5, the only mutation fixed was NS5A V177A. These results suggest that mutations in NS5A could alter BVDV cytopathogenicity. In conclusion, the stability of the resistance to TSC may be due to the fixation of different compensatory mutations in each BVDV-TSCr. During their replication in a TSC-free medium, some virus populations presented a kind of interaction with the host cell that resembled a persistent infection: decreased cytopathogenicity and viral genome synthesis. This is the first report on the stability of antiviral resistance and on the evolution of NNI-resistant BVDV variants. The results obtained for BVDV-TSCr could also be applied for other NNIs.
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