Generation of a non-transmissive Borna disease virus vector lacking both matrix and glycoprotein genes

Kan Fujino, Yusuke Yamamoto, Takuji Daito, Akiko Makino, Tomoyuki Honda, Keizo Tomonaga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Borna disease virus (BoDV), a prototype of mammalian bornavirus, is a non-segmented, negative strand RNA virus that often causes severe neurological disorders in infected animals, including horses and sheep. Unique among animal RNA viruses, BoDV transcribes and replicates non-cytopathically in the cell nucleus, leading to establishment of long-lasting persistent infection. This striking feature of BoDV indicates its potential as an RNA virus vector system. It has previously been demonstrated by our team that recombinant BoDV (rBoDV) lacking an envelope glycoprotein (G) gene develops persistent infections in transduced cells without loss of the viral genome. In this study, a novel non-transmissive rBoDV, rBoDV ΔMG, which lacks both matrix (M) and G genes in the genome, is reported. rBoDV-ΔMG expressing green fluorescence protein (GFP), rBoDV ΔMG-GFP, was efficiently generated in Vero/MG cells stably expressing both BoDV M and G proteins. Infection with rBoDV ΔMG-GFP was persistently maintained in the parent Vero cells without propagation within cell culture. The optimal ratio of M and G for efficient viral particle production by transient transfection of M and G expression plasmids into cells persistently infected with rBoDV ΔMG-GFP was also demonstrated. These findings indicate that the rBoDV ΔMG-based BoDV vector may provide an extremely safe virus vector system and could be a novel strategy for investigating the function of M and G proteins and the host range of bornaviruses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)380-386
Number of pages7
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • animal RNA virus
  • Borna disease virus
  • viral vector

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Virology


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