The current epidemic of Zika virus (ZIKV) has underscored the urgency to establish experimental systems for studying viral replication and pathogenesis, and countermeasure development. Here we report two ZIKV replicon systems: a luciferase replicon that can differentiate between viral translation and RNA synthesis; and a stable luciferase replicon carrying cell line that can be used to screen and characterize inhibitors of viral replication. The transient replicon was used to evaluate the effect of an NS5 polymerase mutation on viral RNA synthesis and to analyze a known ZIKV inhibitor. The replicon cell line was developed into a 96-well format for antiviral testing. Compare with virus infection-based assay, the replicon cell line allows antiviral screening without using infectious virus. Collectively, the replicon systems have provided critical tools for both basic and translational research.
- Drug discovery
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)