Genomic Features of Attenuated Junín Virus Vaccine Strain Candidate

Facultad de Ciencias Exactas, National University of La Plata, Eva Perón, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Virus Genes (Impact Factor: 1.58). 03/2006; 32(1):37-41. DOI: 10.1007/s11262-005-5843-2
Source: PubMed


Junin virus strain Candid #1 was developed as a live attenuated vaccine for Argentine haemorrhagic fever. In this paper, we report the nucleotide sequences of L RNA of Candid #1 and examine the relationship to its more virulent ancestors Junin virus XJ#44 and XJ 13 (prototype) and other closely and distantly related arenaviruses. Comparisons of the nucleotide and amino acid sequences of L and Z genes of Candid #1 and its progenitor strains revealed twelve point mutations in the L polypeptide that are unique to the vaccine strain. These changes could be provisionally associated with the attenuated phenotype. In contrast, Z ORF was completely conserved among all strains.

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Available from: Sandra Elizabeth Goñi
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    • "In order to identify and characterize changes directly related with the attenuated phenotype of the JUNV vaccine strain, the complete nucleotide sequence of all available intermediate strains (XJ13, XJ17, XJ34, XJ39, XJ#44, XJ48 and Candid#1) from the vaccine genealogy were analyzed, along with a small number of field strains [19, 20]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The Arenaviridae family includes several hemorrhagic fever viruses which are important emerging pathogens. Junín virus, a member of this family, is the etiological agent of Argentine Hemorrhagic Fever (AHF). A collaboration between the Governments of Argentina and the USA rendered the attenuated Junín virus vaccine strain Candid#1. Arenaviruses are enveloped viruses with genomes consisting of two single-stranded RNA species (L and S), each carrying two coding regions separated by a stably structured, non-coding intergenic region. Molecular characterization of the vaccine strain and of its more virulent ancestors, XJ13 (prototype) and XJ#44, allows a systematic approach for the discovery of key elements in virulence attenuation. We show comparisons of sequence information for the S RNA of the strains XJ13, XJ#44 and Candid#1 of Junín virus, along with other strains from the vaccine lineage and a set of Junín virus field strains collected at the AHF endemic area. Comparisons of nucleotide and amino acid sequences revealed different point mutations which might be linked to the attenuated phenotype. The majority of changes are consistent with a progressive attenuation of virulence between XJ13, XJ#44 and Candid#1. We propose that changes found in genomic regions with low natural variation frequencies are more likely to be associated with the virulence attenuation process. We partially sequenced field strains to analyze the genomic variability naturally occurring for Junín virus. This information, together with the sequence analysis of strains with intermediate virulence, will serve as a starting point to study the molecular bases for viral attenuation.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Current Genomics
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    • "In this work, we show the strategies employed for the expression, purification, and specific antibody generation against Z protein from Candid#1 strain of Junín virus [21]. Here we report the optimized expression from a synthetic gene of Z protein tagged with different peptides, using three expression systems (two bacterial and a baculoviral one), in order to obtain recombinant Z protein suitable for functional characterization studies. "
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    ABSTRACT: Arenaviridae comprises 23 recognized virus species with a bipartite ssRNA genome and an ambisense coding strategy. The virions are enveloped and include nonequimolar amounts of each genomic RNA species, designated L and S, coding for four ORFs (N, GPC, L, and Z). The arenavirus Junín (JUNV) is the etiological agent of Argentine Hemorrhagic Fever, an acute disease with high mortality rate. It has been proposed that Z is the functional counterpart of the matrix proteins found in other negative-stranded enveloped RNA viruses. Here we report the optimized expression of a synthetic gene of Z protein, using three expression systems (two bacterial and a baculoviral one). One of these recombinant proteins was used to generate antibodies. A bioinformatic analysis was made where Z was subdivided into three domains. The data presented contributes methodologies for Z recombinant production and provides the basis for the development of new experiments to test its function.
    Full-text · Article · Jun 2010 · BioMed Research International
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    ABSTRACT: The New World arenaviruses, Junin, Machupo, Guanarito, Sabia, and Chapare, are associated with rapidly progressing severe hemorrhagic fever with a high rate of case fatality in various regions of South America. The threat of natural or deliberate outbreaks associated with these viruses makes the development of preventive or therapeutic measures important. Here we describe a Junin virus functional minigenome system and a reverse genetics system for production of infectious Junin virus. This robust, highly efficient system involves transfection of cells with only two plasmids which transcribe the virus S and L antigenomic RNAs. The utility of the system is demonstrated by generating Junin viruses which encode a glycoprotein precursor (GPC) containing the following: (i) the wild-type (SKI-1/S1P peptidase) cleavage site, (ii) no cleavage site, or (iii) a cleavage site where the SKI-1/S1P motif (RSLK) is replaced by a furin cleavage site (RRKR). In contrast to the wild-type virus, Junin virus lacking a GPC cleavage site replicated within successfully transfected cells but failed to yield infectious virus particles. This confirms observations with other arenaviruses suggesting that GPC cleavage is essential for arenavirus infectivity. In contrast, infectious Junin virus which encoded GPC cleaved by furin-like proteases was easily generated. The two-plasmid, high efficiency aspects of this Junin virus reverse genetics system show great promise for addressing important questions regarding arenavirus hemorrhagic fever disease and for development of precisely attenuated live arenavirus vaccines.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2009 · Journal of Virology
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