An in vitro replication system for mouse hepatitis virus (MHV) strain A59 was developed using lysolecithin to produce cell extracts. In extracts of MHV-infected cells, radiolabeled UMP was incorporated at a linear rate for up to 1 h into RNA, which hybridized to MHV-specific cDNA probes and migrated in denaturing formaldehyde-agarose gels to the same position as MHV genomic RNA. The incorporation of [32P]UMP into genome-sized RNA in vitro correlated with the observed increase of [3H]uridine incorporation in MHV-infected cells labeled in vivo. Incorporation of [32P]UMP into genome-sized RNA was inhibited when extracts were incubated with puromycin. The addition to the assay of antiserum to the MHV-A59 nucleocapsid protein N inhibited synthesis of genome-sized RNA by 90% compared with the addition of preimmune serum. In contrast, antiserum to the E1 or E2 glycoproteins did not significantly inhibit RNA replication. In vitro-synthesized RNA banded in cesium chloride gradients as a ribonucleoprotein complex with the characteristic density of MHV nucleocapsids isolated from virions. These experiments suggest that ongoing protein synthesis is necessary for replication of MHV genomic RNA and indicate that the N protein plays an important role in MHV replication.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science