Functional characterization of coronavirus non-structural proteins.
Date of Issue2008
School of Biological Sciences
Genetic manipulation of the RNA genomes by reverse genetics is a powerful tool to study the molecular biology and pathogenesis of RNA viruses. During construction of an infectious clone from a Vero cell-adapted coronavirus infectious bronchitis virus (IBV), we found that a G - C point mutation at nucleotide position 15526, causing Arg-to-Pro mutation at amino acid position 132 of the helicase protein, is lethal to the infectivity of IBV on Vero cells. When the in vitro-synthesized full-length transcripts containing this mutation were introduced into Vero cells, no infectious virus was rescued. Upon correction of the mutation, infectious virus was recovered. Further characterization of the in vitro-synthesized full-length transcripts containing the G15526C mutation demonstrated that this mutation may block the transcription of subgenomic RNAs.