1887

Abstract

La Crosse virus (LACV), a member of the family , is the primary cause of paediatric encephalitis in the United States. In this study, a functional RNA polymerase (L) gene of LACV was cloned and a reverse genetics system established. A reporter minireplicon mimicking the viral genome was constructed by flanking the luciferase gene with the 3′ and 5′ noncoding regions of the genomic M segment. These noncoding regions serve as promoters for the viral polymerase. Both L and nucleocapsid (N) genes were expressed by means of T7 RNA polymerase, which was provided by the recombinant T7-expressing modified vaccinia virus Ankara. reporter activity in transfected cells reflected reconstitution of recombinant nucleocapsids by functional L and N gene products. Time-course experiments revealed a rapid increase in minireplicon activity from 10 to 18 h after the onset of L and N expression. Minireplicon activity was found to be dependent on the correct ratio of L to N plasmids, with too much of either construct resulting in downregulation. Furthermore, a specific inhibitory effect of LACV NSs protein on minireplicon activity was found. In passaging experiments using parental helper virions, it was demonstrated that the recombinant nucleocapsids are a useful model for transcription, replication and packaging of LACV.

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2003-05-01
2021-10-24
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