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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)
MeSH Review

Reassortant Viruses

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Disease relevance of Reassortant Viruses

  • The geometric mean titer of serum neutralizing antibody to a reassortant virus (CJN-M) that contained VP7 of CJN and VP3 of another human rotavirus was 12.7 times less than that of antibody to CJN before infection and 20.3 times less after infection [1].
  • Through the use of reassortant viruses, we mapped this increased ethanol resistance mutation to the M2 gene segment, which encodes a major outer capsid protein, mu1C [2].
  • Seventy adult SCID mice, T1L, T3D, and 15 T1L x T3D reassortant viruses were used to map genetic determinants of viral titers in the brain, intestines, and liver, as well as the severity of hepatitis [3].
  • The origin of the S and M genomic RNA segments in each cloned reassortant virus was determined with monoclonal antibodies capable of differentiating the nucleocapsid protein (S segment marker) or G1 glycoprotein (M segment marker) of the parental strains [4].
  • A reassortant virus possessing RNA segment 7, which codes for the M1 and M2 proteins, of the avian influenza A/Mallard/New York/6750/78 (H2N2) virus and the other seven RNA segments of the human influenza A/Udorn/307/72 (H3N2) virus had been shown previously to be markedly restricted in replication in the respiratory tract of squirrel monkeys [5].

High impact information on Reassortant Viruses

  • With the use of reassortant viruses containing various combinations of double-stranded RNA segments (genes) derived from type 1 and type 3, the viral S1 double-stranded RNA segment was shown to be responsible for determining the capacity of reoviruses to spread to the central nervous system through these distinct pathways [6].
  • With the use of reassortant viruses, these properties were mapped to the L2 gene [7].
  • The reassortant virus svA/wtA has a phenylalanine at amino acid residue 260 of the glycoprotein, whereas the spleen variant clone 13 has a leucine at this position [8].
  • This difference in growth was investigated by using reassortant viruses and we found that the capacity of T3D to infect MEL cells is determined by the viral cell-attachment protein, sigma 1 [9].
  • We also used this eight-plasmid system for the generation of single and quadruple reassortant viruses between A/Teal/HK/W312/97 (H6N1) and A/WSN/33 (H1N1) [10].

Chemical compound and disease context of Reassortant Viruses

  • Analysis of reassortant viruses isolated from crosses of an MA mutant virus and a reovirus strain that does not bind sialic acid indicated that the sigma1 protein is solely responsible for efficient growth of MA mutant viruses in MEL cells [11].
  • We used reassortant viruses isolated from crosses of wild-type (wt) reovirus strain, type 1 Lang, and three independent PI viruses, L/C, PI 2A1, and PI 3-1, to identify viral genes that segregate with the capacity of PI viruses to grow in cells treated with ammonium chloride [12].
  • The parental origin of reassortant virus double-stranded RNA segments was determined by gene segment migration differences in polyacrylamide gels and hybridization with radioactively labeled parental viral transcripts [13].
  • Surprisingly, sequence analysis of reassortant virus DS1XRRV, which depends on SAs to infect the cell, showed that its VP4 gene is identical to the VP4 gene of the variants [14].
  • This was confirmed through the use of reassortant viruses and the isolation of a virus resistant to BMY-27709 [15].

Biological context of Reassortant Viruses

  • To identify viral genes that segregate with growth of PI viruses in the presence of E64, we tested reassortant viruses isolated from independent crosses of T1L and each of the prototype PI viruses for growth in cells treated with E64 [16].
  • Genetic analysis of this phenotype in a set of reassortant viruses from two parental strains having the phenotypes of strains OSU (porcine) and UK (bovine) confirmed that this property of viral particles is probably associated with the gene coding for VP7 [17].
  • To identify which RNA segments of the California serogroup bunyaviruses determine virulence, we prepared reassortant viruses by coinfecting BHK-21 cells with two wild-type parents, La Crosse/original and Tahyna/181-57 viruses, which differed about 30,000-fold in virulence [18].
  • Using T1L x T3D reassortant viruses, we found that strain-specific differences in the capacity to induce G(2)/M arrest, like the differences in the capacity to induce apoptosis, are determined by the viral S1 gene [19].
  • In a previous study using reassortant viruses, bovine rotavirus B223 VP7 protein enhanced the neutralization titers of some VP4 specific cross-reactive monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) (Xu and Woode, Virology, 1993) [20].

Gene context of Reassortant Viruses

  • To investigate whether the presence of the wild-type NSs gene correlated with inhibition of IFN-alpha/beta production, we infected susceptible IFNAR(-/-) mice with S gene reassortant viruses [21].
  • A genetic study with reassortant viruses and subsequent biochemical analyses led to the hypothesis that the interferon-induced, double-stranded RNA-activated protein kinase, PKR, is responsible for reovirus-induced host shutoff [22].
  • In this study the correlation between VP7 and resistance to low [Ca2+] was confirmed by analyzing the origin of gene 9 from reassortant viruses prepared under the selective pressure of low [Ca2+] [23].
  • Analysis of T1L x T3D reassortant viruses revealed that the mu1-encoding M2 gene segment is the only viral determinant of the apoptosis-inducing capacity of reovirus when infection is initiated via Fc receptors [24].
  • To confirm the importance of the S1 gene in PI virus growth in cured cells, we used T1L X PI 3-1 reassortant viruses to genetically map the capacity of this PI virus to grow better than wt in cured cells [25].

Analytical, diagnostic and therapeutic context of Reassortant Viruses

  • Using reassortant viruses containing different combinations of genes derived from T3D and C9, we found that the S1 gene, encoding the cell attachment protein sigma 1 and the nonstructural protein sigma 1s, and the L3 gene, encoding the core shell protein lambda 1 were the primary determinants of lethality after intramuscular injection [26].


  1. Relative concentrations of serum neutralizing antibody to VP3 and VP7 proteins in adults infected with a human rotavirus. Ward, R.L., Knowlton, D.R., Schiff, G.M., Hoshino, Y., Greenberg, H.B. J. Virol. (1988) [Pubmed]
  2. Isolation and genetic characterization of ethanol-resistant reovirus mutants. Wessner, D.R., Fields, B.N. J. Virol. (1993) [Pubmed]
  3. Genetic mapping of reovirus virulence and organ tropism in severe combined immunodeficient mice: organ-specific virulence genes. Haller, B.L., Barkon, M.L., Vogler, G.P., Virgin, H.W. J. Virol. (1995) [Pubmed]
  4. Use of reassortant viruses to map attenuating and temperature-sensitive mutations of the Rift Valley fever virus MP-12 vaccine. Saluzzo, J.F., Smith, J.F. Vaccine (1990) [Pubmed]
  5. Characterization of the M protein and nucleoprotein genes of an avian influenza A virus which are involved in host range restriction in monkeys. Murphy, B.R., Buckler-White, A.J., London, W.T., Snyder, M.H. Vaccine (1989) [Pubmed]
  6. Distinct pathways of viral spread in the host determined by reovirus S1 gene segment. Tyler, K.L., McPhee, D.A., Fields, B.N. Science (1986) [Pubmed]
  7. Viral shedding and transmission between hosts determined by reovirus L2 gene. Keroack, M., Fields, B.N. Science (1986) [Pubmed]
  8. Genetic basis of viral persistence: single amino acid change in the viral glycoprotein affects ability of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus to persist in adult mice. Matloubian, M., Somasundaram, T., Kolhekar, S.R., Selvakumar, R., Ahmed, R. J. Exp. Med. (1990) [Pubmed]
  9. Binding of type 3 reovirus by a domain of the sigma 1 protein important for hemagglutination leads to infection of murine erythroleukemia cells. Rubin, D.H., Wetzel, J.D., Williams, W.V., Cohen, J.A., Dworkin, C., Dermody, T.S. J. Clin. Invest. (1992) [Pubmed]
  10. A DNA transfection system for generation of influenza A virus from eight plasmids. Hoffmann, E., Neumann, G., Kawaoka, Y., Hobom, G., Webster, R.G. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. (2000) [Pubmed]
  11. Mutations in type 3 reovirus that determine binding to sialic acid are contained in the fibrous tail domain of viral attachment protein sigma1. Chappell, J.D., Gunn, V.L., Wetzel, J.D., Baer, G.S., Dermody, T.S. J. Virol. (1997) [Pubmed]
  12. Reovirus variants selected during persistent infections of L cells contain mutations in the viral S1 and S4 genes and are altered in viral disassembly. Wetzel, J.D., Wilson, G.J., Baer, G.S., Dunnigan, L.R., Wright, J.P., Tang, D.S., Dermody, T.S. J. Virol. (1997) [Pubmed]
  13. Molecular basis of rotavirus virulence: role of gene segment 4. Offit, P.A., Blavat, G., Greenberg, H.B., Clark, H.F. J. Virol. (1986) [Pubmed]
  14. Interactions between the two surface proteins of rotavirus may alter the receptor-binding specificity of the virus. Méndez, E., Arias, C.F., López, S. J. Virol. (1996) [Pubmed]
  15. Characterization of a hemagglutinin-specific inhibitor of influenza A virus. Luo, G., Colonno, R., Krystal, M. Virology (1996) [Pubmed]
  16. Mutations in reovirus outer-capsid protein sigma3 selected during persistent infections of L cells confer resistance to protease inhibitor E64. Baer, G.S., Dermody, T.S. J. Virol. (1997) [Pubmed]
  17. The concentration of Ca2+ that solubilizes outer capsid proteins from rotavirus particles is dependent on the strain. Ruiz, M.C., Charpilienne, A., Liprandi, F., Gajardo, R., Michelangeli, F., Cohen, J. J. Virol. (1996) [Pubmed]
  18. Virulence of La Crosse virus is under polygenic control. Janssen, R.S., Nathanson, N., Endres, M.J., Gonzalez-Scarano, F. J. Virol. (1986) [Pubmed]
  19. Reovirus-induced G(2)/M cell cycle arrest requires sigma1s and occurs in the absence of apoptosis. Poggioli, G.J., Keefer, C., Connolly, J.L., Dermody, T.S., Tyler, K.L. J. Virol. (2000) [Pubmed]
  20. Studies on the influence of the VP7 gene on rotavirus replication. Xu, Z., Woode, G.N. Virology (1994) [Pubmed]
  21. Genetic evidence for an interferon-antagonistic function of rift valley fever virus nonstructural protein NSs. Bouloy, M., Janzen, C., Vialat, P., Khun, H., Pavlovic, J., Huerre, M., Haller, O. J. Virol. (2001) [Pubmed]
  22. Involvement of the interferon-regulated antiviral proteins PKR and RNase L in reovirus-induced shutoff of cellular translation. Smith, J.A., Schmechel, S.C., Williams, B.R., Silverman, R.H., Schiff, L.A. J. Virol. (2005) [Pubmed]
  23. Two proline residues are essential in the calcium-binding activity of rotavirus VP7 outer capsid protein. Gajardo, R., Vende, P., Poncet, D., Cohen, J. J. Virol. (1997) [Pubmed]
  24. JAM-A-independent, antibody-mediated uptake of reovirus into cells leads to apoptosis. Danthi, P., Hansberger, M.W., Campbell, J.A., Forrest, J.C., Dermody, T.S. J. Virol. (2006) [Pubmed]
  25. Persistent reovirus infections of L cells select mutations in viral attachment protein sigma1 that alter oligomer stability. Wilson, G.J., Wetzel, J.D., Puryear, W., Bassel-Duby, R., Dermody, T.S. J. Virol. (1996) [Pubmed]
  26. Type 3 reovirus neuroinvasion after intramuscular inoculation: viral genetic determinants of lethality and spinal cord infection. Mann, M.A., Tyler, K.L., Knipe, D.M., Fields, B.N. Virology (2002) [Pubmed]
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