Mutational analysis of the rift valley fever virus glycoprotein precursor proteins for Gn protein expression

Inaia Phoenix, Nandadeva Lokugamage, Shoko Nishiyama, Tetsuro Ikegami

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) M-segment encodes the 78 kD, NSm, Gn, and Gc proteins. The 1st AUG generates the 78 kD-Gc precursor, the 2nd AUG generates the NSm-Gn-Gc precursor, and the 3rd AUG makes the NSm’-Gn-Gc precursor. To understand biological changes due to abolishment of the precursors, we quantitatively measured Gn secretion using a reporter assay, in which a Gaussia luciferase (gLuc) protein is fused to the RVFV M-segment pre-Gn region. Using the reporter assay, the relative expression of Gn/gLuc fusion proteins was analyzed among various AUG mutants. The reporter assay showed efficient secretion of Gn/gLuc protein from the precursor made from the 2nd AUG, while the removal of the untranslated region upstream of the 2nd AUG (AUG2-M) increased the secretion of the Gn/gLuc protein. Subsequently, recombinant MP-12 strains encoding mutations in the pre-Gn region were rescued, and virological phenotypes were characterized. Recombinant MP-12 encoding the AUG2-M mutation replicated slightly less efficiently than the control, indicating that viral replication is further influenced by the biological processes occurring after Gn expression, rather than the Gn abundance. This study showed that, not only the abolishment of AUG, but also the truncation of viral UTR, affects the expression of Gn protein by the RVFV M-segment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number151
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2016


  • 78 kD
  • Expression strategy
  • Gn
  • M-segment
  • NSm
  • Precursor
  • Reporter assay
  • Reverse genetics
  • Rift Valley fever virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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