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January 2010 - March 2011

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University of Minnesota Twin Cities
College of Veterinary Medicine
Department of Veterinary Biomedical Sciences

PI: Carol J. Cardona

Characterizing the Functions of the Avian Influenza Virus NS1 A and B Alleles in Duck and Chicken Macrophages

Avian influenza virus (AIV) is a negative sense, single-stranded, enveloped virus that possesses a genome made up of eight RNA segments. The eight segments encode hemagglutinin (HA) of which there are 16 known subtypes, neuraminidase (NA) of which there are nine known subtypes, the matrix (M) protein, the nucleoprotein (NP), the polymerases (PA, PB1, and PB2), and the nonstructural protein (NS). NS is alternatively spliced into two transcripts, NS1 and NS2. NS2 functions in nuclear export, while NS1 is a more complex, multifunctional protein. NS1 may prevent the activation of 2`-5` oligoadenylate synthetase and RIG-I mediated activation of interferon (IFN) transcription factors, bind and block activation of PKR, associate with phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and enhance AIV replication, prevent the proper processing of host mRNA, suppress the antiviral activity of IFNs, and complex with eukaryotic initiation factor eIF4G and poly(A)-binding protein I to increase translation of AIV mRNA. Of these functions, the immune-regulatory effect of the nonstructural 1 protein (NS1) of influenza A viruses has been described in many models including mice, ferrets, humans, and swine.  However, the roles of the two allelic versions of NS1, A and B, play in avian hosts are poorly understood. The overall objective of this project is to characterize the function of NS1 A and B alleles in vitro in chicken and duck macrophages. 

Group Members

Sean Adams, Graduate Student
Janet Anderson, Staff