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Arch Virol. 2000;145(9):1829-45.

Genome replication of Newcastle disease virus: involvement of the rule-of-six.

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Institute for Animal Science and Health ID-Lelystad, The Netherlands.


We examined replication of Newcastle disease virus (NDV) by using minigenomes consisting of the 3' leader and 5' trailer regions of NDV flanking a reporter gene encoding secreted placental alkaline phosphatase (SEAP). Negative-sense minigenome RNA was generated from transfected plasmid DNA by means of in vivo transcription. Subsequent replication of minigenome RNA was determined either after infection with NDV helpervirus or after contransfection with helperplasmids that expressed the essential viral replication proteins NP, P, and L. In both systems, efficient replication of minigenome RNA was observed only if the genome size was a multiple of six nucleotides. Hence, in these systems, replication of NDV minigenome RNA's is strictly dependent on the rule-of-six. When the supernatant from helpervirus-infected, transfected cells was used to infect fresh monolayers, efficient transfer of SEAP activity by virus-like particles was observed only if the size of the minigenome RNA obeyed the rule-of-six. However, after several serial passages, we also observed efficient transfer of SEAP activity by virus-like particles derived from minigenome RNA's that did not obey the rule-of-six. Evidence was obtained which indicated that successful replication of these minigenomes was not due to a change in genome size.

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