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A reconstituted replication and transcription system for Ebola virus Reston and comparison with Ebola virus Zaire.

Boehmann Y., Enterlein S., Randolf A., Muehlberger E.I.

The only known filovirus, which presumably is not pathogenic for humans, is Ebola virus (EBOV) Reston. When EBOV Reston and the highly pathogenic EBOV Zaire were grown in cell culture, comparison of the replication kinetics showed a clear growth impairment of EBOV Reston, indicating that the replication cycle of EBOV Reston might be delayed. In addition, the cytopathic effect caused by the virus was much milder with EBOV Reston than with EBOV Zaire. To compare replication and transcription of EBOV Reston and Zaire, a reconstituted minigenomic replication and transcription system based on reverse genetics has been established for EBOV Reston. This system was used to exchange the EBOV Zaire and EBOV Reston nucleocapsid (NC) proteins NP, VP35, VP30, and L, which catalyze replication and transcription. Furthermore, chimeric minigenomes were constructed containing the cis-acting replication signals of EBOV Zaire combined with those of EBOV Reston. Surprisingly, the cis-acting signals as well as almost all NC proteins could be exchanged between EBOV Reston and Zaire, suggesting a high degree of functional homology of the replication/transcription complexes of EBOV Zaire and EBOV Reston. Only the combination of EBOV Zaire VP35 and EBOV Reston L did not result in replication and transcription activity. Although these two proteins did not constitute an active polymerase complex, it was shown by immunofluorescence analysis that they were still able to interact.

Virology 332:406-417(2005) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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