A 45-nucleotide insertion in the NS2 gene is responsible for the cytopathogenicity of a bovine viral diarrhoea virus strain

Ádám Bálint, Claudia Baule, Vilmos Pálfi, László Dencsö, Ákos Hornyák, Sándor Belák

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)


Cytopathogenicity (cp) markers have recently been investigated in the genomes of field isolates of bovine viral diarrhoea virus (BVDV). Most of the isolates originated from mucosal disease (MD) cases observed after vaccination with a live attenuated vaccine, termed here BVDV-X. The NS2-3 genes of these isolates and of the vaccine proved to be identical, including a 45-nucleotide (nt) viral insertion at nt position 4355. The insertion originated from the NS4B/5A junction region of the BVDV genome. Interestingly, in BVDV strain CP7 a 27-nt insertion originating from the NS2 is located exactly at the same position. Complete genome analysis of BVDV-X did not reveal further potential cp markers. Furthermore, expression studies indicated that the insertion promotes NS2-3 cleavage. In order to examine the possible role of the 45-nt insertion in viral cytopathogenicity in details, a full-length infectious cDNA clone of BVDV-X was generated, and bovine turbinate (BT) cells were transfected with RNA transcribed from the clone. The recovered virus, termed BVDV-XR, showed slight retardation in growth in comparison with the original BVDV-X, and induced cytopathogenic effect (CPE). Since the natural non-cytopathogenic (ncp) counterpart of the vaccine virus was not available, an insertion-negative mutant cDNA clone was generated from BVDV-XR by PCR-directed mutagenesis. The recovered virus, termed BVDV-XR-INS-, showed the same growth characteristics as its cp counterpart BVDV-XR, but caused no CPE. These findings provide a direct proof that the 45-nt insertion at position 4355 has a basic role in the cytopathogenic character of this BVDV strain.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)135-144
Number of pages10
JournalVirus Genes
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2005


  • Bovine viral diarrhoea virus
  • Cytopathogenicity marker
  • Infectious clone
  • NS2-3
  • NS3
  • Vaccine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Virology

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