A carboxy-terminal epitope tag introduced into the coding region of the A/WSN/33 M2 protein resulted in a recombinant virus (rWSN M2myc) which replicated to titers similar to those of the parental virus (rWSN) in MDCK cells. The rWSN M2myc virus was attenuated in its ability to induce mortality and weight loss after the intranasal inoculation of BALB/c mice, indicating that the M2 cytoplasmic tail plays a role in virus virulence. Mice infected with rWSN M2myc were completely protected from subsequent challenge with rWSN, suggesting that epitope tagging of the M2 protein may be a useful way of attenuating influenza A virus strains.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science