This report describes a simple and efficient system for construction of recombinant pseudorabies (Aujeszky's disease) virus (PrV) which is based on the use of a unique restriction site inserted into the viral genome. This system enables the recovery of genetically modified viruses without screening or selection for a specific phenotype, since practically all mature viral particles obtained carry the foreign sequences. To demonstrate, we introduced the tumour suppressor protein-53 (p53) gene into two different intergenic locations of PrV: the ribonucleotide reductase (rr) gene and the promoter of a putative latency gene (P(LAT)), located at the inverted repeat (IR) region of the viral genome. As a first step, we engineered a unique EcoRI recognition site into the rr gene or into both copies of P(LAT). With the help of marker transfer using the bacterial lacZ gene. Then, in both cases viral DNAs were cut with the restriction endonuclease EcoRI followed by treatment with calf intestinal phosphatase and used for cotransfection into porcine kidney cells with a plasmid containing the p53 gene flanked by viral DNAs homologous to the target region. As a result of this process, in most of the experiments, we obtained recombinant viruses without the background of parental viruses. Here we show that this method can be used for directional insertion of exogenous sequences into esther the unique or the IR region of the PrV chromosome. In principle, this system should be applicable to the construction of recombinant derivatives of any viruses having infectious DNA.
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