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J Virol. 2010 Nov;84(22):12075-81. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00046-10. Epub 2010 Sep 8.

Generation of replication-competent recombinant influenza A viruses carrying a reporter gene harbored in the neuraminidase segment.

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  • 1Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Guangzhou 510530, China.


Replication-competent influenza viruses carrying reporter genes are of great use for basic research, screening of antiviral drugs, and neutralizing of antibodies. In this study, two recombinant influenza A viruses with a neuraminidase (NA) segment harboring enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) in the background of A/PR/8/34 (PR8) were generated. The viral RNA (vRNA)-specific packaging signals for NA were largely retained for efficient packaging. An "autocleave" 2A peptide sequence, which was inserted at the N terminus or the COOH terminus of NA to link with EGFP, enabled NA and EGFP to be expressed monocistronically. Further analysis demonstrated that both viruses, named rPR8-EGFP+NA and rPR8-NA+EGPF, although with some characteristic differences in growth and EGFP expression, could replicate in noncomplementary cells and propagate to large quantities while maintaining genome stability after multiple passages in embryonated eggs. These replication-competent influenza viruses carrying reporter genes are a great addition to the tool set for developing antiviral therapeutics and vaccines and for in vivo studies of viral dissemination and pathogenicity.

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