Journal article

A single amino acid change in the nuclear localization sequence of the nsP2 protein affects the neurovirulence of Semliki Forest virus

JK Fazakerley, A Boyd, ML Mikkola, L Kaariainen

Journal of Virology | AMER SOC MICROBIOLOGY | Published : 2002


The replicase protein nsP2 of Semliki Forest virus (SFV) has a 648RRR nuclear localization signal and is transported to the nucleus. SFV-RDR has a single amino acid change which disrupts this sequence and nsP2 nuclear transport. In BHK cells, SFV4 and SFV-RDR replicate to high titers, but SFV-RDR is less virulent in mice. We compared the replication of SFV4 and SFV-RDR in adult mouse brain. Both SFV4 and SFV-RDR were neuroinvasive following intraperitoneal inoculation. SFV4 spread rapidly throughout the brain, whereas SFV-RDR infection was confined to small foci of cells. Both viruses infected neurons and oligodendrocytes. Both viruses induced apoptosis in cultured BHK cells but not in the c..

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