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Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR) A36815


Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR)


Zika virus (ZIKV), a mosquito-borne flavivirus, is an emerging zoonotic pathogen closely related to Japanese encephalitis virus, West Nile virus, dengue virus, and yellow fever virus. Although ZIKV infection generally produces only mild symptoms in some infected individuals, it has recently been associated with a growing number of neurological diseases, including Guillain-Barré syndrome in ZIKV-infected adults and microcephaly in infants born to ZIKV-infected women. Like all flaviviruses, ZIKV has a plus-strand RNA genome encoding ten functional proteins (designated C, prM, E, NS1, NS2A, NS2B, NS3, NS4A, NS4B, and NS5). Of these ten, the C (capsid) protein is an essential structural protein required for the formation of infectious viral particles. In order to produce the antiserum specifically recognizing the ZIKV C protein in this study, we expressed and purified the ZIKV C protein as a glutathione-S-transferase (GST) fusion protein in E. coli. The ZIKV C protein-coding region was PCR-amplified using the genomic RNA of ZIKV PRVABC-59, and the amplicons were cloned into the pGEX-4T-1 E. coli expression vector. GST-C fusion proteins were purified using a glutathione sepharose column. Subsequently, the GST-C fusion proteins were used for immunization with rabbits. Western blot analysis using the ZIKV-infected Vero cell lysates were performed to examine the reactivity of the antisera to the ZIKV C protein. Thus, this study provides a useful reagent for the diagnosis and understanding of the viral morphogenesis in the ZIKV-infected cells.

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