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Development of disabled, replication-defective gene transfer vectors from the Jembrana disease virus, a new infectious agent of cattle

Metharom, P., Takyar, S., Xia, H.Q., Ellem, K.A.O., Wilcox, G.E. and Wei, M.Q. (2001) Development of disabled, replication-defective gene transfer vectors from the Jembrana disease virus, a new infectious agent of cattle. Veterinary Microbiology, 80 (1). pp. 9-22.

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Jembrana disease virus (JDV) is a newly isolated and characterised bovine lentivirus. It causes an acute disease in Bali cattle (Bos javanicus), which can be readily transmitted to susceptible cattle with 17% mortality. There is as yet no treatment or preventive vaccine. We have developed a gene transfer vector system based on JDV that has three components. The first of the components is a bicistronic transfer vector plasmid that was constructed to contain cis-sequences from the JDV genome, including 5′- and 3′-long terminal repeats (LTRs), 0.4 kb of truncated gag and 1.1 kb of 3′-env, a multiple cloning site to accommodate the gene(s) of interest for transfer, and an internal ribosome entry site plus the neomycin phosphotransferase (Neo) gene cassette for antibiotic selection. The second element is a packaging plasmid that contains trans-sequences, including gag, pol, vif, tat and rev, but without the env and packaging signals. The third is a plasmid encoding the G glycoprotein of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV-G) to supply the vector an envelope for pseudotyping. Cotransfection of 293T cells with these three plasmid components produced VSV-G pseudotyped, disabled, replication defective, bicistronic JDV vectors encoding the green fluorescent protein (EGFP) and the Neo resistance selection maker simultaneously with a titre range of (0.4-1.2) × 10 6 CFU/ml. Transduction of several replicating primary and transformed cells from cattle, primate and human sources and importantly growth-arrested cells with the JDV vectors showed high efficiency of EGFP gene transfer at 35-75%, which was stable and the expression of EGFP was long term. Furthermore, these JDV vectors were designed to suit the inclusion and expression of genes corresponding to JDV specific proteins, such as gag or env, for the development of vaccines for Jembrana disease. This strategy should also be applicable to other bovine diseases as well. The design and construction of the JDV vector system should facilitate the study of the lentivirology and pathogenesis of the diseases associated with JDV or other bovine virus infections. To our knowledge, this is the first such vector system developed from a cattle virus.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): School of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier BV
Copyright: © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V.
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