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Virology. 2010 Sep 15;405(1):149-56. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2010.05.036. Epub 2010 Jun 30.

Domain disruptions of individual 3B proteins of foot-and-mouth disease virus do not alter growth in cell culture or virulence in cattle.

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Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Plum Island Animal Disease Center, Greenport, New York, USA.


Picornavirus RNA replication is initiated by a small viral protein primer, 3B (also known as VPg), that is covalently linked to the 5' terminus of the viral genome. In contrast to other picornaviruses that encode a single copy of 3B, foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) encodes three copies of 3B. Viruses containing disrupted native sequence or deletion of one of their three 3B proteins were derived from a FMDV A24 Cruzeiro full-length cDNA infectious clone. Mutant viruses had growth characteristics similar to the parental virus in cells. RNA synthesis and protein cleavage processes were not significantly affected in these mutant viruses. Cattle infected by aerosol exposure with mutant viruses developed clinical disease similar to that caused by the parental A24 Cruzeiro. Therefore, severe domain disruption or deletion of individual 3B proteins in FMDV do not affect the virus' ability to replicate in vitro and cause clinical disease in cattle.

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