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Virology. 2005 Sep 30;340(2):265-76.

N(pro) of classical swine fever virus is an antagonist of double-stranded RNA-mediated apoptosis and IFN-alpha/beta induction.

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Institute of Virology and Immunoprophylaxis (IVI), Mittelhäusern, Switzerland.


Classical swine fever virus (CSFV) protects cells from double-stranded (ds) RNA-mediated apoptosis and IFN-alpha/beta induction. This phenotype is lost when CSFV lacks N(pro) (DeltaN(pro) CSFV). In the present study, we demonstrate that N(pro) counteracts dsRNA-mediated apoptosis and IFN-alpha/beta induction independently of other CSFV elements. For this purpose, we generated porcine SK-6 and PK-15 cell lines constitutively expressing N(pro) fused to the enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP). The survival of the SK6-EGFP-N(pro) cell line after polyinosinic polycytidylic acid [poly(IC)] treatment was comparable to that of CSFV-infected SK-6 cells and was significantly higher than the survival of the parent cell line. In PK-15 cells, the presence of EGFP-N(pro) prevented the DeltaN(pro) CSFV- and poly(IC)-mediated IFN-alpha/beta production. Importantly, N(pro) also inhibited IFN-alpha and IFN-beta promoter-driven luciferase expression in human cells and blocked IFN-alpha/beta induction mediated by Newcastle disease virus. This establishes a novel function for N(pro) in counteraction of the IFN-alpha/beta induction pathway.

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