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Vet Microbiol. 2012 Sep 14;159(1-2):251-6. doi: 10.1016/j.vetmic.2012.03.045. Epub 2012 Apr 6.

ORF3 of duck circovirus: a novel protein with apoptotic activity.

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Department of Preventive Veterinary Medicine, College of Veterinary Medicine, Shandong Agricultural University, Shandong, Taian 271018, China.


Duck circovirus (DuCV) is classified in the genus Circovirus of the Circoviridae family. Two major open reading frames (ORFs), encoding the replicase (ORF1/rep) and the capsid protein (ORF2/cap), have been recognized for DuCV. Sequence analysis show that another major conserved ORF (named ORF3) is located in the complementary strand of ORF1/rep of DuCV, and its function remains to be investigated. In this study, the ORF3 of DuCV was expressed in recombinant baculovirus-infected Sf9 cells. By IFA and Western blot analysis, the ORF3 protein was positive for the sera from ducks infected with DuCV. The percentages of apoptotic cells of the Sf9 cells infected with the recombinant baculovirus encoding ORF3 of DuCV were significantly higher than (P<0.05) that of the Sf9 cells infected with wild-type baculovirus at 24, 48 and 72 h postinfection. Based on our knowledge, we deduced that the ORF3 protein of DuCV might play an important role in viral pathogenesis via its apoptotic activity.

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