Evaluation of the potential functions of Avian paramyxovirus Accessory proteins
Avian paramyxoviruses (APMVs) consist of twelve distinct serotypes (APMV-1 to -12) isolated from a wide variety of domestic and wild birds. APMV-1/Newcastle disease virus (NDV) is the most characterized and globally important avian pathogen, because of the huge economic loss associated with the disease. However, very little information is known about the pathogenicity of APMV 2-12. APMV expresses six structural and two accessory proteins. The functions of APMV accessory proteins (V and W) are not fully established. Only the function of V protein in NDV is studied so far. V protein was found to be an IFN antgonist and a major virulent determinant of NDV. In this study, we tested for the potential functions of W protein in NDV and fuctions of V protein in other APMV serotypes. Vaccination failure is a major cause for NDV outbreak in developing and tropical countries, because of thermolabile nature of vaccine strains. Thermostable and thermolabile NDV strains exhibit difference in W protein length. In the first part of our study, we mutated the genome of a thermolabile NDV strain to express W protein of different lengths, rescued recombinant viruses by reverse genetics system and tested for thermostability. Our results showed that W protein does not confer thermostability to NDV. In the second part of study, we constructed plasmids expressing APMV -2, -3 and -6V proteins and tested for IFN antagonism by a dual luciferase reporter assay. Our results showed that APMV-3V acts as IFN antagonist by blocking IFN induction and thereby may play an important role in the evasion of innate immunity.