Establishment of a chimeric, replication-deficient influenza A virus vector by modulation of splicing efficiency

Journal of Virology
Markus WolschekMichael Bergmann


Segment 8 of the influenza A virus codes for two proteins (NS1 and NS2/NEP) via splicing. Here, we developed a viral vector expressing a cytokine or chemokine instead of the interferon antagonist NS1. To achieve both the desired genetic stability and high transgene expression levels, NS2/NEP mRNA splicing efficacy had to be fine-tuned by modification of splicing elements. Expression levels of secreted foreign proteins could be further enhanced by fusing the N-terminal 13 amino acids of NS1 with an IgK-derived secretion signal peptide. Thus, the first start codon was used for translation initiation of both NS2/NEP and the foreign protein.


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