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A Method for the Generation of Ectromelia Virus (ECTV) Recombinant: In Vivo Analysis of ECTV vCD30 Deletion Mutants

AuthorsAlejo, Alí; Saraiva, Margarida; Ruiz-Arguello, Maria Begoña; Viejo-Borbolla, Abel ; Fernández de Marco, M. del Mar ; Salguero, Francisco J.; Alcamí, Antonio
KeywordsEctromelia Virus
ECTV vCD30 Deletion
Issue Date13-Apr-2009
PublisherPublic Library of Science
CitationPLoS ONE 4(4): e5175.
AbstractBackground: Ectromelia virus (ECTV) is the causative agent of mousepox, a lethal disease of mice with similarities to human smallpox. Mousepox progression involves replication at the initial site of infection, usually the skin, followed by a rapid spread to the secondary replicative organs, spleen and liver, and finally a dissemination to the skin, where the typical rash associated with this and other orthopoxviral induced diseases appears. Case fatality rate is genetically determined and reaches up to 100% in susceptible mice strains. Like other poxviruses, ECTV encodes a number of proteins with immunomodulatory potential, whose role in mousepox progression remains largely undescribed. Amongst these is a secreted homologue of the cellular tumour necrosis factor receptor superfamily member CD30 which has been proposed to modulate a Th1 immune response in vivo. Methodology/Principal Findings: To evaluate the contribution of viral CD30 (vCD30) to virus pathogenesis in the infected host, we have adapted a novel transient dominant method for the selection of recombinant ECTVs. Using this method, we have generated an ECTV vCD30 deletion mutant, its corresponding revertant control virus as well as a virus encoding the extracellular domain of murine CD30. These viruses contain no exogenous marker DNA sequences in their genomes, as opposed to other ECTVs reported up to date. Conclusions/Significance: We show that the vCD30 is expressed as a secreted disulfide linked trimer and that the absence of vCD30 does not impair mousepox induced fatality in vivo. Replacement of vCD30 by a secreted version of mouse CD30 caused limited attenuation of ECTV. The recombinant viruses generated may be of use in the study of the role of the cellular CD30-CD30L interaction in the development of the immune response. The method developed might be useful for the construction of ECTV mutants for the study of additional genes.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0005175
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