Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome: New gene expression mechanism of PRRS virus discovered

Date:
May 12, 2014
Source:
Kansas State University
Summary:
Researchers have discovered a new gene expression mechanism in porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, or PRRS, virus -- an important swine pathogen that costs the U.S. pork industry more than $600 million a year. The discovery provides a new avenue for scientists to explore strategies to control and prevent the disease.

Confocal microscopy of a 0.8-micrometer slice through the nucleus of nsp2TF protein confirms the nearly complete spatial separation of the structures labeled with pAb-TF and mAb36-19.
Credit: Ying Fang

A collaborative study involving Kansas State University researchers has discovered a new gene expression mechanism in porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome, or PRRS, virus -- an important swine pathogen that costs the U.S. pork industry more than $600 million a year. The discovery provides a new avenue for scientists to explore strategies to control and prevent the disease.

Related Articles


Ying Fang, Ph.D., associate professor of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology at Kansas State University, led a study that looked at the unique gene expression mechanism of the PRRS virus. She and colleagues found a new protein in the virus, nsp2TF, was generated through novel ribosomal frameshifting signals.

The research recently appeared in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Fang conducted this study with her European collaborators, including Eric Snijder and his team members at Leiden University Medical Center in The Netherlands, and Andrew Firth, Ian Brierley and Brierley's lab members at the University of Cambridge. Yanhua Li, Fang's doctoral student in pathobiology, China, made important contributions to this study. Zhi Sun, Fang's former doctoral student, and Longchao Zhu, visiting scholars in diagnostic medicine and pathobiology in Fang's lab, also were involved in the study.

The study builds on a 2012 PNAS study Fang and her European collaborators conducted while she was at South Dakota State University. In it, researchers identified the nsp2TF protein in the PRRS virus. The protein is expressed through a new gene expression mechanism called -2 ribosomal frameshifting.

"Frameshifting occurs when a ribosome encounters a 'slippery' sequence and downstream signal in messenger RNA," Fang said. "This causes the ribosome to shift two nucleotides backward, which results in all the genetic codons downstream of the shifted site to be read differently and produce a new protein that has a different function."

With the most recent study, Fang and colleagues have shown that this -2 frameshifting requires a PRRS virus protein, nsp1beta. It is the first time a virus's genetic mechanism has been found to require the action of a transacting viral protein rather than a RNA structure to induce a ribosomal frameshifting, which is novel in the protein translation field.

The function of the nsp2TF protein is currently under investigation, Fang said. The protein contains a genetic element that may be responsible for suppressing the pig's immune system.

The newly identified ribosomal frameshifting mechanism may provide an additional antiviral target. Fang's research lab cloned the PRRS virus and then genetically engineered nsp2TF protein knockout viruses.

"These knockout viruses could be potentially used to develop vaccines," Fang said. "Additionally, this novel mechanism of gene expression may also be used by other viruses or in cellular gene expression."

Fang joined Kansas State University in 2013.

"Dr. Fang is recognized as one of the top PRRS experts in the world," said M.M. Chengappa, university distinguished professor of microbiology and head of the department of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology. "We are so fortunate to have faculty of her caliber and stature at Kansas State University. She brings enormous depth and breadth to our research and graduate training program."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Kansas State University. The original article was written by Greg Tammen. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Yanhua Li, Emmely E. Treffers, Sawsan Napthine, Ali Tas, Longchao Zhu, Zhi Sun, Susanne Bell, Brian L. Mark, Peter A. van Veelen, Martijn J. van Hemert, Andrew E. Firth, Ian Brierley, Eric J. Snijder, and Ying Fang. Transactivation of programmed ribosomal frameshifting by a viral protein. PNAS, May 13, 2014 DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1321930111

Cite This Page:

Kansas State University. "Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome: New gene expression mechanism of PRRS virus discovered." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 May 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140512213836.htm>.
Kansas State University. (2014, May 12). Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome: New gene expression mechanism of PRRS virus discovered. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140512213836.htm
Kansas State University. "Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome: New gene expression mechanism of PRRS virus discovered." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/05/140512213836.htm (accessed October 26, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins