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Virology. 1988 Feb;162(2):437-43.

Selection for accelerated penetration in cell culture coselects for attenuated mutants of Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus.

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1
Department of Microbiology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh 27695.

Abstract

Previous studies with Sindbis virus (SB) suggested that a single point mutation in glycoprotein E2 (serine 114 to arginine 114) conferred three phenotypic alterations: attenuation in neonatal mice, accelerated penetration of cultured cells, and efficient neutralization by two E2-specific monoclonal antibodies (Davis, Fuller, Dougherty, Olmsted, and Johnston (1986) Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 83, 6771-6775). Moreover, selection for rapidly penetrating mutants of SB coselected for attenuation in vivo, indicating that a domain of SB E2 which influences penetration in culture overlaps an E2 domain which influences pathogenesis (Olmsted, Meyer, and Johnston (1986) Virology 148, 245-254). To test the possibility that overlapping penetration and pathogenesis domains exist in other alphaviruses, the virulent Trinidad donkey strain of Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus (TRD-VEE) was serially passed in baby hamster kidney (BHK) cells under a stringent selective pressure for accelerated penetration. Isolates were biologically cloned from the first through the fourth passages and were characterized as to penetration time course in BHK cells and virulence in adult mice following intraperitoneal inoculation. Twenty-two of the 27 isolates segregated into two major categories: slowly penetrating and virulent (like the TRD-VEE parent) and rapidly penetrating and avirulent. Mice which received the avirulent mutants were positive for anti-VEE neutralizing antibody and were refractory to challenge with TRD-VEE. Of the seven mouse avirulent mutants, two also were attenuated in hamsters, indicating the presence of at least two genetic loci at which mutations may influence both pathogenesis and penetration.

PMID:
3341117
DOI:
10.1016/0042-6822(88)90484-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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