The Reovirus M1 Gene Determines the Relative Capacity of Growth of Reovirus in Cultured Bovine Aortic Endothelial Cells

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Since blood-borne viruses often interact with endothelial cells before tissue invasion, the interaction between viruses and endothelial cells is likely to be important in viral pathogenicity. Two reovirus isolates (type 1 Lang and type 3 Dearing) differ in their capacity to grow in cultured bovine aortic endothelial cells. The mammalian reoviruses have 10 double-stranded RNA gene segments in their genome. By using 24 reassortant viruses, observed differences in the capacity of different strains to grow in cultured endothelial cells were mapped to the M1 gene (P = 0.00019), which encodes the viral core protein mu 2. No differences were detected in binding or proteolytic processing of viral outer capsid proteins of parental virions between the two reovirus isolates. Northern blot analysis showed a decreased production of viral mRNA in endothelial cells infected with type 3 Dearing reovirus, but not type 1 Lang. Thus, we have identified a viral gene (the M1 gene) responsible for determining the difference in growth capacity of the two reovirus isolates in cultured endothelial cells. Reovirus is an attractive model in which to study the interaction of viruses with endothelial cells at a molecular genetic level. (J. Clin. Invest. 1993. 92:2883-2888.) Key words: viral pathogenesis. myocarditis. viral mRNA

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