Enhanced grass carp reovirus resistance of Mx-transgenic rare minnow (Gobiocypris rarus)

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In the interferon-induced antiviral mechanisms, the Mx pathway is one of the most powerful. Mx proteins have direct antiviral activity and inhibit a wide range of viruses by blocking an early stage of the viral genome replication cycle. However, antiviral activity of piscine Mx remains unclear in vivo. In the present study, an Mx-like gene was cloned, characterized and gene-transferred in rare minnow Gobiocypris rarus, and its antiviral activity was confirmed in vivo. The full length of the rare minnow Mx-like cDNA is 2241 bp in length and encodes a polypeptide of 625 amino acids with an estimated molecular mass of 70.928 kDa and a predicted isoelectric point of 7.33. Analysis of the deduced amino acid sequence indicated that the mature peptide contains an amino-terminal tripartite GTP-binding motif, a dynamin family signature sequence, a GTPase effector domain and two carboxy-terminal leucine zipper motifs, and is the most similar to the crucian carp (Carassius auratus) Mx3 sequence with an identity of 89%. Both P0 and F1 generations of Mx-transgenic rare minnow demonstrated very significantly high survival rate to GCRV infection (P < 0.01). The mRNA expression of Mx gene was consistent with survival rate in F1 generation. The virus yield was also concurrent with survival time using electron microscope technology. Rare minnow has Mx gene(s) of its own but introducing more Mx gene improves their resistance to GCRV. Mx-transgenic rare minnow might contribute to control the GCRV diseases.

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