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Virologica Sinica, 33 (5) : 429, 2018
Research Article
Identification of Nonstructural Protein 8 as the N-Terminus of the RNADependent RNA Polymerase of Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus
Key Laboratory of Animal Epidemiology of the Ministry of Agriculture, College of Veterinary Medicine and State Key Laboratory of Agrobiotechnology, China Agricultural University, Beijing 100193, China
 Correspondence: hanx0158@cau.edu.cn;yanghanchun1@cau.edu.cn
(2752.46KB)  (368.41KB)  
Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is a member within the family Arteriviridae of the order Nidovirales. Replication of this positive-stranded RNA virus within the host cell involves expression of viral replicase proteins encoded by two ORFs, namely ORF1a and ORF1b. In particular, translation of ORF1b depends on a -1-ribosomal frameshift strategy. Thus, nonstructural protein 9 (nsp9), the first protein within ORF1b that specifies the function of the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, is expressed as the C-terminal extension of nsp8, a small nsp that is encoded by ORF1a. However, it has remained unclear whether the mature form of nsp9 in virus-infected cells still retains nsp8, addressing which is clearly critical to understand the biological function of nsp9. By taking advantage of specific antibodies to both nsp8 and nsp9, we report the following findings. (1) In infected cells, PRRSV nsp9 was identified as a major product with a size between 72 and 95 kDa (72-95 KDa form), which exhibited the similar mobility on the gel to the in vitro expressed nsp8-9ORF1b, but not the ORF1b-coded portion (nsp9ORF1b). (2) The antibodies to nsp8, but not to nsp7 or nsp10, could detect a major product that had the similar mobility to the 72-95 KDa form of nsp9. Moreover, nsp9 could be co-immunoprecipitated by antibodies to nsp8, and vice versa. (3) Neither nsp4 nor nsp2 PLP2 was able to cleave nsp8- nsp9 in vitro. Together, our studies provide experimental evidence to suggest that nsp8 is an N-terminal extension of nsp9. Our findings here paves way for further charactering the biological function of PRRSV nsp9.
Received: 9 Jul 2018  Accepted: 30 Aug 2018  Published online: 23 Oct 2018
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