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Effects of the HN gene C-terminal extensions on the Newcastle disease virus virulence

Zhao, Wei, Zhang, Zhenyu, Zsak, Laszlo, Yu, Qingzhong
Virus genes 2013 v.47 no.3 pp. 498
Newcastle disease virus, amino acids, chicken eggs, chickens, death, eggs, genes, open reading frames, sequence analysis, sialidase, virulence, viruses
The hemagglutinin-neuraminidase (HN) of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) is a multifunctional protein that has receptor recognition, neuraminidase, and fusion promotion activities. Sequence analysis revealed that the HN gene of many extremely low virulence NDV strains encodes a larger open-reading frame (616 amino acids, aa) with additional 45 aa at its C-terminus when compared with that (571 aa) of virulent NDV strains. Therefore, it has been suspected that the 45 aa extension at the C-terminus of the HN may affect the NDV virulence. In this study, we generated an NDV mesogenic strain Anhinga-based recombinant virus with an HN C-terminal extension of 45 aa (rAnh- HN-ex virus) using reverse genetics technology. The biological characterization of the recombinant virus showed that the rAnh-HN-ex virus had similar growth ability to its parental virus rAnh-wt both in embryonating chicken eggs and DF-1 cells. However, the pathogenicity of this recombinant virus in embryonating chicken eggs and day-old chickens decreased, as evidenced by a longer mean death time and lower intracerebral pathogenicity index when compared with the parental virus. This is consistent with our previous finding that the recombinant LaSota virus with a 45-aa extension at its HN C-terminal was attenuated in chickens and embryonating eggs. These results suggest that