The virulent Trinidad donkey (TRD) strain of Venezuelan equine encephalitis (VEE) virus and its live attenuated vaccine derivative, TC-83 virus, have different neurovirulence characteristics. A full-length cDNA clone of the TC-83 virus genome was constructed behind the bacteriophage T7 promoter in the polylinker of plasmid pUC18. To identify the genomic determinants of TC-83 virus attenuation, TRD virus-specific sequences were inserted into the TC-83 virus clone by in vitro mutagenesis or recombination. Antigenic analysis of recombinant viruses with VEE E2- and E1-specific monoclonal antibodies gave predicted antigenic reactivities. Mouse challenge experiments indicated that genetic markers responsible for the attenuated phenotype of TC-83 virus are composed of genome nucleotide position 3 in the 5'-noncoding region and the E2 envelope glycoprotein. TC-83 virus amino acid position E2-120 appeared to be the major structural determinant of attenuation. Insertion of the TRD virus-specific 5'-noncoding region, by itself, into the TC-83 virus full-length clone did not alter the attenuated phenotype of the virus. However, the TRD virus-specific 5'-noncoding region enhanced the virulence potential of downstream TRD virus amino acid sequences.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||9|
|Journal||Journal of virology|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1993|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science