A seven-segmented influenza A virus expressing the influenza C virus glycoprotein HEF

Qinshan Gao, Edward W.A. Brydon, Peter Palese

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Influenza viruses are classified into three types: A, B, and C. The genomes of A- and B-type influenza viruses consist of eight RNA segments, whereas influenza C viruses only have seven RNAs. Both A and B influenza viruses contain two major surface glycoproteins: the hemagglutinin (HA) and the neuraminidase (NA). Influenza C viruses have only one major surface glycoprotein, HEF (hemagglutinin-esterase fusion). By using reverse genetics, we generated two seven-segmented chimeric influenza viruses. Each possesses six RNA segments from influenza virus A/Puerto Rico/8/34 (PB2, PB1, PA, NP, M, and NS); the seventh RNA segment encodes either the influenza virus C/Johannesburg/1/66 HEF full-length protein or a chimeric protein HEF-Ecto, which consists of the HEF ectodomain and the HA transmembrane and cytoplasmic regions. To facilitate packaging of the heterologous segment, both the HEF and HEF-Ecto coding regions are flanked by HA packaging sequences. When introduced as an eighth segment with the NA packaging sequences, both viruses are able to stably express a green fluorescent protein (GFP) gene, indicating a potential use for these viruses as vaccine vectors to carry foreign antigens. Finally, we show that incorporation of a GFP RNA segment enhances the growth of seven-segmented viruses, indicating that efficient influenza A viral RNA packaging requires the presence of eight RNA segments. These results support a selective mechanism of viral RNA recruitment to the budding site.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6419-6426
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number13
StatePublished - Jul 2008


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