Effects of NV gene knock-out recombinant viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV) on Mx gene expression inEpithelioma papulosum cyprini(EPC) cells and olive flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus)

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To determine whether the NV gene of viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV) is related to the type I interferon response of hosts, expression of Mx gene in Epithelioma papulosum cyprini (EPC) cells and in olive flounder (Paralichthys olivaceus) in response to infection with either wild-type VHSV or recombinant VHSVs (rVHSV-ΔNV-EGFP and rVHSV-wild) was investigated. A reporter vector was constructed for measuring Mx gene expression using olive flounder Mx promoter, in which the reporter Metridia luciferase was designed to be excreted to culture medium to facilitate measurement. The highest increase of luciferase activity was detected from supernatant of cells infected with rVHSV-ΔNV-EGFP. In contrast cells infected with wild-type VHSV showed a slight increase of the luciferase activity. Interestingly, cells infected with rVHSV-wild that has artificially changed nucleotides just before and after the NV gene ORF, also showed highly increased luciferase activity, but the increased amplitude was lower than that by rVHSV-ΔNV-EGFP. These results strongly suggest that the NV protein of VHSV plays an important role in suppressing interferon response in host cells, which provides a condition for the viruses to efficiently proliferate in host cells. In an in vivo experiment, the Mx gene expression in olive flounder challenged with the rVHSV-ΔNV-EGFP was clearly higher than fish challenged with rVHSV-wild or wild-type VHSV, suggesting that lacking of the NV gene in the genome of rVHSV-ΔNV-EGFP brought to strong interferon response that subsequently inhibit viral replication in fish.

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