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J Gen Virol. 2012 Jul;93(Pt 7):1474-82. doi: 10.1099/vir.0.040089-0. Epub 2012 Mar 21.

Production of in vivo-biotinylated rotavirus particles.

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International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), Padriciano 99, 34149 Trieste, Italy.


Although inserting exogenous viral genome segments into rotavirus particles remains a hard challenge, this study describes the in vivo incorporation of a recombinant viral capsid protein (VP6) into newly assembled rotavirus particles. In vivo biotinylation technology was exploited to biotinylate a recombinant VP6 protein fused to a 15 aa biotin-acceptor peptide (BAP) by the bacterial biotin ligase BirA contextually co-expressed in mammalian cells. To avoid toxicity of VP6 overexpression, a stable HEK293 cell line was constructed with tetracycline-inducible expression of VP6-BAP and constitutive expression of BirA. Following tetracycline induction and rotavirus infection, VP6-BAP was biotinylated, recruited into viroplasms and incorporated into newly assembled virions. The biotin molecules in the capsid allowed the use of streptavidin-coated magnetic beads as a purification technique instead of CsCl gradient ultracentrifugation. Following transfection, double-layered particles attached to beads were able to induce viroplasm formation and to generate infective viral progeny.

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