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Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) nonstructural (NS) proteins as host range determinants: a chimeric bovine RSV with NS genes from human RSV is attenuated in interferon-competent bovine cells

Bossert, B.; Conzelmann, K.-K.

Journal of Virology 76(9): 4287-4293

2002


ISSN/ISBN: 0022-538X
PMID: 11932394
DOI: 10.1128/jvi.76.9.4287-4293.2002
Accession: 068761355

Bovine respiratory syncytial virus (BRSV) escapes from cellular responses to alpha/beta interferon (IFN-alpha/beta) by a concerted action of the two viral nonstructural proteins, NS1 and NS2. Here we show that the NS proteins of human RSV (HRSV) are also able to counteract IFN responses and that they have the capacity to protect replication of an unrelated rhabdovirus. Even combinations of BRSV and HRSV NS proteins showed a protective activity, suggesting common mechanisms and cellular targets of HRSV and BRSV NS proteins. Although able to cooperate, NS proteins from BRSV and HRSV showed differential protection capacity in cells from different hosts. A chimeric BRSV with HRSV NS genes (BRSV h1/2) was severely attenuated in bovine IFN competent MDBK and Klu cells, whereas it replicated like BRSV in IFN-incompetent Vero cells or in IFN-competent human HEp-2 cells. After challenge with exogenous IFN-alpha, BRSV h1/2 was better protected than wild-type BRSV in human HEp-2 cells. In contrast, in cells of bovine origin, BRSV h1/2 was much less resistant to exogenous IFN than wild-type BRSV. These data demonstrate that RSV NS1 and NS2 proteins are major determinants of host range. The differential IFN escape capacity of RSV NS proteins in cells from different hosts provides a basis for rational development of attenuated live RSV vaccines.

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