With the most recent study, Fang and colleagues have shown that this -2 frameshifting requires a PRRS virus protein, nsp1beta. It is the first time a virus's genetic mechanism has been found to require the action of a transacting viral protein rather than a RNA structure to induce a ribosomal frameshifting, which is novel in the protein translation field.
The function of the nsp2TF protein is currently under investigation, Fang said. The protein contains a genetic element that may be responsible for suppressing the pig's immune system.
The newly identified ribosomal frameshifting mechanism may provide an additional antiviral target. Fang's research lab cloned the PRRS virus and then genetically engineered nsp2TF protein knockout viruses.
"These knockout viruses could be potentially used to develop vaccines," Fang said. "Additionally, this novel mechanism of gene expression may also be used by other viruses or in cellular gene expression."
Fang joined Kansas State University in 2013.
"Dr. Fang is recognized as one of the top PRRS experts in the world," said M.M. Chengappa, university distinguished professor of microbiology and head of the department of diagnostic medicine and pathobiology. "We are so fortunate to have faculty of her caliber and stature at Kansas State University. She brings enormous depth and breadth to our research and graduate training program."
|Contact: Ying Fang|
Kansas State University