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Nora virus, a persistent virus in Drosophila, defines a new picorna-like virus family.
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Molecular Pathogenesis (UCMP) (Faculty of Medicine). (Dan Hultmark)
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Molecular Pathogenesis (UCMP) (Faculty of Medicine). (Dan Hultmark)
Umeå University, Faculty of Medicine, Umeå Centre for Molecular Pathogenesis (UCMP) (Faculty of Medicine). (Dan Hultmark)
2006 (English)In: Journal of General Virology, ISSN 0022-1317, E-ISSN 1465-2099, Vol. 87, no Pt 10, 3045-3051 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Several viruses, including picornaviruses, are known to establish persistent infections, but the mechanisms involved are poorly understood. Here, a novel picorna-like virus, Nora virus, which causes a persistent infection in Drosophila melanogaster, is described. It has a single-stranded, positive-sense genomic RNA of 11879 nt, followed by a poly(A) tail. Unlike other picorna-like viruses, the genome has four open reading frames (ORFs). One ORF encodes a picornavirus-like cassette of proteins for virus replication, including an iflavirus-like RNA-dependent RNA polymerase and a helicase that is related to those of mammalian picornaviruses. The three other ORFs are not closely related to any previously described viral sequences. The unusual sequence and genome organization in Nora virus suggest that it belongs to a new family of picorna-like viruses. Surprisingly, Nora virus could be detected in all tested D. melanogaster laboratory stocks, as well as in wild-caught material. The viral titres varied enormously, between 10(4) and 10(10) viral genomes per fly in different stocks, without causing obvious pathological effects. The virus was also found in Drosophila simulans, a close relative of D. melanogaster, but not in more distantly related Drosophila species. It will now be possible to use Drosophila genetics to study the factors that control this persistent infection.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 87, no Pt 10, 3045-3051 p.
Keyword [en]
Animals, Drosophila/*virology, Molecular Sequence Data, Phylogeny, Polymerase Chain Reaction, RNA Viruses/*classification/isolation & purification/*physiology, RNA; Viral/chemistry/classification/genetics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-17048DOI: 10.1099/vir.0.81997-0PubMedID: 16963764OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-17048DiVA: diva2:156721
Available from: 2007-10-28 Created: 2007-10-28 Last updated: 2017-12-14Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Nora virus as a model to study persistent infection in Drosophila melanogaster
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Nora virus as a model to study persistent infection in Drosophila melanogaster
2009 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Drosophila melanogaster has been widely used as a model organism to study the immune responses against bacteria, fungi, parasites and viruses. Here, I present a D. melanogaster virus as a model to study persistent virus infections. I have discovered and characterized the Nora virus, a small picorna-like RNA virus able to persistently infect D. melanogaster. The Nora virus genome encodes four open reading frames; a feature not present in other picorna-like viruses. The Nora virus is not closely related to any other virus family, but rather is the first virus in a new family of picorna-like viruses. The major replicative proteins of this virus are encoded in the second open reading frame and the capsid proteins are encoded in the fourth open reading frame. The sequence of the capsid proteins are not obviously related to any other previously described protein. By looking at expressed sequence tags (EST) projects, we identified an EST sequence from the parasitic wasp Nasonia which appears to encode proteins that have sequence similarity to the Nora virus capsid proteins. I have shown that the Nora virus persists in the fly intestine however I did not observe serious pathological effects in the infected flies. The virus is shed through feces and the transmission occurs horizontally via the ingestion of virus-contaminated food. Moreover, I observed variability in the viral titers among single flies of the same infected stock. Some flies are able to clear the Nora virus but not others and this phenomenon seems to be titer-dependent. Surprisingly, none of the known Drosophila antiviral responses play a role against the Nora virus. In conclusion, my work shows that studying the Nora virus interaction with the Drosophila immune system can lead to new findings on viral persistence mechanisms of RNA viruses and of Drosophila viral innate immunity.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Department of molecular biology, 2009. 39 p.
Series
Umeå University medical dissertations, ISSN 0346-6612 ; 1265
Keyword
Nora virus, Drosophial, persistence, transmission, RNAi, capsid proteins
National Category
Microbiology in the medical area
Research subject
Molecular Biology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-22129 (URN)978-91-7264-781-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2009-05-18, Major Groove, Institution för Molekylärbiologi, byggnad 6L, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2009-04-28 Created: 2009-04-23 Last updated: 2011-06-22Bibliographically approved

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