A bovine herpesvirus type 1 mutant virus specifying a carboxyl-terminal truncation of glycoprotein E is defective in anterograde neuronal transport in rabbits and calves

Z. F. Liu, M. C.S. Brum, A. Doster, C. Jones, S. I. Chowdhury

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33 Scopus citations


Bovine herpesvirus type 1 (BHV-1) is an important component of the bovine respiratory disease complex (BRDC) in cattle. The ability of BHV-1 to transport anterogradely from neuronal cell bodies in trigeminal ganglia (TG) to nerve ending in the noses and corneas of infected cattle following reactivation from latency plays a significant role in the pathogenesis of BRDC and maintenance of BHV-1 in the cattle population. We have constructed a BHV-1 bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) clone by inserting an excisable BAC plasmid sequence in the long intergenic region between the glycoprotein B (gB) and UL26 genes. A BAC-excised, reconstituted BHV-1 containing only the 34-bp loxP sequence within the gB-UL26 intergenic region was highly infectious in calves, retained wild-type virulence properties, and reactivated from latency following treatment with dexamethasone. Using a two-step Red-mediated mutagenesis system in Escherichia coli, we constructed a gE cytoplasmic tail-truncated BHV-1 and a gE-rescued BHV-1. Following primary infection, the gE cytoplasmic tail-truncated virus was efficiently transported retrogradely from the nerve endings in the nose and eye to cell bodies in the TG of calves and rabbits. However, following dexamethasone-induced reactivation from latency, the gE mutant virus was not isolated from nasal and ocular sheddings. Reverse transcriptase PCR assays detected VP5 transcription in the TG of rabbits infected with gE-rescued and gE cytoplasmic tail-truncated viruses during primary infection and after dexamethasone treatment but not during latency. Therefore, the BHV-1gE cytoplasmic tail-truncated virus reactivated in the TG; however, it had defective anterograde transport from TG to nose and eye in calves and rabbits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7432-7442
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number15
StatePublished - Aug 1 2008


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology

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