Virology journal 2017 11 0314(1) 212 doi 10.1186/s12985-017-0883-5
DNA-launched infectious system is a useful tool with high rescue efficiency that allows the introduction of mutations in specific positions to investigate the function of an individual viral element. Rescued virus particles could be harvested by directly transfecting the DNA-launched recombinant plasmid to the host cells, which will reduce labor and experimental cost by skipping the in vitro transcription assay.
A total of four overlapping fragments covering the entire viral genome were amplified and then were assembled into a transformation vector based on pIRES2-EGFP to establish the DNA-launched infectious system of duck hepatitis A virus type 1 (DHAV-1), named pIR-DHAV-1. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) detection, quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qRT-PCR), western blotting assay and indirect immunofluorescence (IFA) were conducted for rescued virus identification. A total of 4.0 μg of recombinant plasmid of pIR-DHAV-1 and in vitro transcribed product of 4.0 μg of RNA-launched infectious clone named pR-DHAV-1 were transfected into BHK-21 cells to analyze the rescue efficiency. Following that, tissue tropism of rescued virus (rDHAV-1) and parental virus (pDHAV-1) were assayed for virulence testing in 1-day-old ducklings.
Rescued virus particles carry the designed genetic marker which could be harvested by directly transfecting pIR-DHAV-1 to BHK-21 cells. The qRT-PCR and western blotting results indicated that rDHAV-1 shared similar growth characteristics with pDHAV-1. Furthermore, DNA-launched infectious system possessed much higher rescue efficiency assay compared to RNA-launched infectious system. The mutation at position 3042 from T to C has no impact on viral replication and tissue tropism. From 1 h post infection (hpi) to 48 hpi, the viral RNA copies of rDHAV-1 in liver were the highest among the six tested tissues (with an exception of thymus at 6 hpi), while the viral RNA copy numbers in heart and kidney were alternately the lowest.
We have constructed a genetically stable and highly pathogenic DNA-launched infectious clone, from which the rescued virus could be harvested by direct transfection with recombinant plasmids. rDHAV-1 shared similar growth characteristics and tissue tropism with pDHAV-1. The DNA-launched infectious system of DHAV-1 possessed higher rescue efficiency compared to the traditional RNA-launched infectious system.