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Development of short hairpin RNA expression vectors targeting the internal ribosomal entry site of the classical swine fever virus genomic RNA.

BMC Biotechnology 2023 September 9
BACKGROUND: Classical swine fever (CSF) is a fatal contagious disease affecting pigs caused by classical swine fever virus (CSFV). The disease can be transmitted by pigs and wild boars, and it is difficult to prevent and control. To obtain necessary information to establish the CSFV resistant animals in a future study, we designed lentiviral vector-delivered short hairpin RNAs (shRNAs) targeting the conserved domain III of the internal ribosomal entry site (IRES) of the CSFV genomic RNA.

RESULTS: First, we confirmed the effects of siRNAs on CSFV-IRES activity. We observed significant inhibition of CSFV-IRES activity by si42 (domain IIIa), si107 (domain IIIc), and si198 (domain IIIf) in SK-L cells and si56 (domain IIIb), si142 (domain IIId1 ) and si198 in HEK293 cells without affecting the amount of luciferase RNA. Next, we constructed lentiviral vectors expressing shRNA based on siRNA sequences. Treatment with shRNA-expressing lentivirus was examined at 7 and 14 days post infection in SK-L cells and HEK293 cells, and CSFV-IRES was significantly suppressed at 14 days (sh42) post infection in HEK293 cells without significant cytotoxicity. Next, we examined the silencing effect of siRNA on CSFV replicon RNA and observed a significant effect by si198 after 2 days of treatment and by shRNA-expressing lentivirus (sh56, sh142, and sh198) infection after 14 days of treatment. Treatment of sh198-expressing lentivirus significantly suppressed CSFV infection at 3 days after infection.

CONCLUSION: The IRES targeting sh198 expressing lentivirus vector can be a candidate tool for CSFV infection control.

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