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Antisense Nucleic Acid Drug Dev. 2001 Oct;11(5):317-25.

Inhibition of Vesivirus infections in mammalian tissue culture with antisense morpholino oligomers.

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AVI BioPharma, Inc., Corvallis, OR 97333, USA.


Caliciviruses infect and cause disease in animals and humans. They are nonenveloped, positive-stranded RNA viruses with a genome of approximately 7.5 kb that encodes viral proteins in three open reading frames (ORF). Antisense oligomers targeting one of the three ORF of caliciviruses of the genus Vesivirus significantly inhibit viral replication in tissue culture. Porcine kidney and African green monkey kidney cells were infected with Vesivirus isolates SMSV-13 and PCV Pan-1. Phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomers (PMO) with sequence complementary to the AUG translation start site regions of ORF1, ORF2, and ORF3 were evaluated for their effect on viral titer. Scrape-loading delivered PMO to 50%-70% of the cells of the two cell lines, as measured by fluorescence microscopy and flow cytometry. A PMO targeting ORF3 caused a significant increase in viral titer. A PMO targeting ORF2, a scrambled PMO control sequence, and an unrelated PMO antisense sequence did not alter viral titer. Various PMO sequences antisense to an upstream region of ORF1 were effective in reducing viral titer up to 80% in a dose-dependent and sequence-specific manner. The extent of viral titer reduction was proportional to the delivery of PMO to cells. These observations demonstrate that antisense PMO can disrupt caliciviral gene function in a nucleic acid sequence-specific manner and are potentially effective antiviral agents.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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