Indexed on: 01 Aug '03Published on: 01 Aug '03Published in: Virus Genes
Bovine viral diarrhea virus (BVDV) is a ubiquitous pathogen of cattle with a world-wide distribution. Recently, the possibility of using recombinant virus vectors to immunize cattle against selected BVDV genes has gained widespread interest. Among the virus vectors tested, bovine herpesvirus-1 (BHV1) provides many unique advantages. However, results of recent studies have raised the possibility that the codon usage pattern required for optimal expression in a BHV1-infected cell may be incompatible with the codon usage pattern of BVDV. If true, use of BHV1 to express BVDV proteins would require construction of synthetic BVDV genes that have been modified to resemble the codon pattern of BHV1. To explore this possibility, we constructed a BHV1 recombinant containing the genomic form of the BVDV (NADL) E2 ORF and compared expression of the E2 protein with that of the endogenous BHV1 gD protein. We observed that E2 was expressed at a significant rate compared to that of the gD protein. We conclude that codon usage problems are unlikely to constitute a serious problem for expression of BVDV proteins in BHV1 vectors.