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The Ep152R ORF of African swine fever virus strain Georgia encodes for an essential gene that interacts with host protein BAG6

Manuel V. Borca, Vivian O’Donnell, Lauren G. Holinka, Devendra K. Rai, Brenton Sanford, Marialexia Alfano, Jolene Carlson, Paul A. Azzinaro, Covadonga Alonso, Douglas P. Gladue
Virus research 2016 v.223 pp. 181-189
African swine fever virus, Vaccinia virus, etiological agents, fluorescence microscopy, genes, immune response, open reading frames, swine, two hybrid system techniques, viral proteins, virus replication, viruses
African swine fever virus (ASFV) is the etiological agent of a contagious and often lethal disease of domes-tic pigs that has significant economic consequences for the swine industry. The viral genome encodes for more than 150 genes, and only a select few of these genes have been studied in some detail. Here we report the characterization of open reading frame Ep152R that has a predicted complement control module/SCR domain. This domain is found in Vaccinia virus proteins that are involved in blocking the immune response during viral infection. A recombinant ASFV harboring a HA tagged version of the Ep152R protein was developed (ASFV-G-Ep152R-HA) and used to demonstrate that Ep152R is an early virus protein.Attempts to construct recombinant viruses having a deleted Ep152R gene were consistently unsuccessful indicating that Ep152R is an essential gene. Interestingly, analysis of host-protein interactions for Ep152Rusing a yeast two-hybrid screen, identified BAG6, a protein previously identified as being required for ASFV replication. Furthermore, fluorescent microscopy analysis confirms that Ep152R-BAG6 interaction actually occurs in cells infected with ASFV.