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J Gen Virol. 2002 Aug;83(Pt 8):1953-64.

A study of the vaccinia virus interferon-gamma receptor and its contribution to virus virulence.

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Sir William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford, South Parks Road, Oxford OX1 3RE, UK.


Vaccinia virus (VV) strain Western Reserve gene B8R encodes a 43 kDa glycoprotein that is secreted from infected cells early in infection as a homodimer. This protein has amino acid similarity with the extracellular domain of cellular IFN-gamma receptor (IFN-gammaR) and binds and inhibits IFN-gamma from a wide range of species. Here we demonstrate that the B8R protein also inhibits equine IFN-gamma. The 5' end of the B8R mRNA has been mapped by primer extension analysis and the contribution of IFN-gammaRs to VV virulence was studied by the construction of a deletion mutant lacking the B8R gene (vDeltaB8R) and a revertant virus (vB8R-R) in which the B8R gene was re-inserted into the deletion mutant. A recombinant virus that expressed a soluble form of the mouse IFN-gammaR was also constructed and studied. The virulence of these viruses was tested in rodent models of infection. In mice, the loss of the VV IFN-gammaR did not affect virulence compared with WT and revertant viruses, consistent with the low affinity of the VV IFN-gammaR for mouse IFN-gamma. However, expression of the mouse soluble IFN-gammaR increased virus virulence slightly. In rabbit skin, loss of the VV IFN-gammaR produced lesions with histological differences compared with WT and revertant viruses. Lastly, the affinity constants of the VV IFN-gammaR for human and mouse IFN-gamma were determined by surface plasmon resonance.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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