A nine-segment influenza A virus carrying subtype H1 and H3 hemagglutinins

Qinshan Gao, Anice C. Lowen, Taia T. Wang, Peter Palese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Influenza virus genomic RNAs possess segment-specific packaging signals that include both noncoding regions (NCRs) and adjacent terminal coding region sequences. Using reverse genetics, an A/Puerto Rico/8/34 (A/PR/8/34) virus was rescued that contained a modified PB1 gene such that the PB1 packaging sequences were exchanged for those of the neuraminidase (NA) gene segment. To accomplish this, the PB1 open reading frame, in which the terminal packaging signals were inactivated by serial synonymous mutations, was flanked by the NA segment-specific packaging sequences including the NCRs and the coding region packaging signals. Next, the ATGs located on the 3′ end of the NA packaging sequences of the resulting PB1 chimeric segment were mutated to allow for correct translation of the full-length PB1 protein. The virus containing this chimeric PB1 segment was viable and able to stably carry a ninth, green fluorescent protein (GFP), segment flanked by PB1 packaging signals. Utilizing this method, we successfully generated an influenza virus that contained the genes coding for both the H1 hemagglutinin (HA) from A/PR/8/34 and the H3 HA from A/Hong Kong/1/68 (A/HK/ 1/68); both subtypes of HA protein were also incorporated into the viral envelope. Immunization of mice with this recombinant virus conferred complete protection from lethal challenge with recombinant A/PR/8/34 virus and with X31 virus that expresses the A/HK/1/68 HA and NA. Using the described methodology, we show that a ninth segment can also be incorporated by manipulation of the PB2 or PA segment-specific packaging signals. This approach offers a means of generating a bivalent influenza virus vaccine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8062-8071
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number16
StatePublished - Aug 2010


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