Deleting Valine-125 and Cysteine-126 in Glycoprotein-Gi of Pseudorabies Virus-Strain Nia-3 Decreases Plaque Size and Reduces Virulence in Mice

Jacobs, L.; Rziha, Hanns-Joachim GND; Kimman, T. G.; Gielkens, A. L.; van Oirschot, J. T.

We investigated the function of antigenic domains on gI in virulence and immunogenicity. Three PRV gI mutants were constructed by deleting nucleotides coding for the following amino acids: valine-125 and cysteine-126, located in a discontinuous antigenic domain (M 303); glycine-59 and aspartic acid-60 located in a continuous antigenic domain (M304); and arginine-67 and alanine-68, located in a discontinuous antigenic domain (M305). Mismatch primers in the polymerase chain reaction were used to introduce the deletions. Anti-gI monoclonal antibodies were used in an immunoperoxidase monolayer assay to distinguish PRV gI mutants from wild-type PRV. The gI mutant viruses were tested for their growth in vitro and for their virulence in mice. The growth properties of PRV gI mutant virus M303 were comparable to the growth properties of a PRV gI-negative mutant (M301): both mutants produced small plaques in various cells, and when grown on swine kidney cells and chicken embryo fibroblasts, their growth was disadvantaged compared to wild-type PRV. However, in embryonal Balb/c mouse cells expressing gI, gI mutant viruses and wild-type PRV produced plaques of the same size, confirming that the mutations in gI are responsible for the small plaque phenotype. The growth properties of PRV gI mutant viruses M 304 and M 305 were comparable to the growth properties of wild-type PRV. When the mean time to death was used as the criterion, the gI mutant viruses M 301 and M 303 were significantly less virulent in mice than wild-type PRV. Four other, independently obtained, PRV mutants all carrying the valine-125 and cysteine-126 deletion (M 308, M 309, M 310 and M 311 respectively) exhibit the same phenotype. Our results show that deleting valine-125 and cysteine-126 in gI decreases plaque size and reduces virulence in mice to the same degree as deleting the gI protein.

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Jacobs, L. / Rziha, Hanns-Joachim / Kimman, T. / et al: Deleting Valine-125 and Cysteine-126 in Glycoprotein-Gi of Pseudorabies Virus-Strain Nia-3 Decreases Plaque Size and Reduces Virulence in Mice. 1993.

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