To investigate the role of PRRSV nonstructural proteins (nsps) in viral RNA replication and transcription, we generated a cDNA clone of PRRSV strain NCV1 carrying the nanoluciferase (nluc) gene under the control of the transcription regulatory sequence 6 (TRS6) designated as pNCV1-Nluc. Cells transfected with the pNCV1-Nluc DNA plasmid produced an infectious virus and high levels of luciferase activity. Interestingly, cells transfected with mutant pNCV1-Nluc constructs carrying deletions in nsp7 or nsp9 regions also exhibited luciferase activity, although no infectious virus was produced. Further investigation revealed that the cDNA sequences corresponding to the PRRSV 5′ untranslated region (UTR) and TRS, when cloned upstream of the reporter gene nluc, were able to drive the expression of the reporter genes in the transfected cells. Luciferase signals from cells transfected with a reporter plasmid carrying PRRSV 5′ UTR or TRS sequences upstream of nluc were in the range of 6-to 10-fold higher compared to cells transfected with an empty plasmid carrying nluc only. The results suggest that PRRSV 5′ UTR and TRS-B in their cDNA forms possess cryptic eukaryotic promoter activity.
- 5′ untranslated region (5′ UTR)
- Eukaryotic promoter
- Nanoluciferase (nluc)
- Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV)
- Transcription regulatory sequence (TRS)
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases