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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Sep 17, 1996; 93(19): 10428–10433.
PMCID: PMC38401

Propagation of an attenuated virus by design: engineering a novel receptor for a noninfectious foot-and-mouth disease virus.

Abstract

To gain entry into cells, viruses utilize a variety of different cell-surface molecules. Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) binds to cell-surface integrin molecules via an arginine-glycine-aspartic acid (RGD) sequence in capsid protein VP1. Binding to this particular cell-surface molecule influences FMDV tropism, and virus/receptor interactions appear to be responsible, in part, for selection of antigenic variants. To study early events of virus-cell interaction, we engineered an alternative and novel receptor for FMDV. Specifically, we generated a new receptor by fusing a virus-binding, single-chain antibody (scAb) to intracellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM1). Cells that are normally not susceptible to FMDV infection became susceptible after being transfected with DNA encoding the scAb/ICAM1 protein. An escape mutant (B2PD.3), derived with the mAb used to generate the genetically engineered receptor, was restricted for growth on the scAb/ICAM1 cells, but a variant of B2PD.3 selected by propagation on scAb/ICAM1 cells grew well on these cells. This variant partially regained wild-type sequence in the epitope recognized by the mAb and also regained the ability to be neutralize by the mAb. Moreover, RGD-deleted virions that are noninfectious in animals and other cell types grew to high titers and were able to form plaques on scAb/ ICAM1 cells. These studies demonstrate the first production of a totally synthetic cell-surface receptor for a virus. This novel approach will be useful for studying virus reception and for the development of safer vaccines against viral pathogens of animals and humans.

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Selected References

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