Biological Characterization of Feline Interferon-Nu: A New Member of the Type I Interferon Family


Type I Interferon are a family of rerlated proteins, including interferon (IFN) alpha, beta, delta, epilson, kappa and omega where all utlize a common receptor complex. Functionally, each of these proteins exhibits antiviral activity and a range of other bioactivities. Recent genomic sequence analysis identified an undiscovered putative IFN denoted Interferon-nu (IFN-nu). While the gene was shown to be conserved in several vertebrate species including humans, chimpanzee, dogs and cats, most of the IFN-nu gene contained an internal stop codon rendering them pseudogenes. Only in the feline was IFN-nu maintained as a full-length gene. To assess the bioactivity of this gene, an antiviral assay was established using Vesicular Stomatitis virus (VSV) challenge of frline lung AK-D cell. Using the species-promiscuous human IFN protein fusion termed Universal Interferon as a positive control, direct viral challenge of AK-D cells transfected with IFN-nu expression plasmid exhibited viral protection compared to cells transfected with the vector control. In addition, de novo expression of IFN-nu was observed in VSV-infected AK-D cells. In conclusion, the coding sequence for feline IFN-nu yielded antiviral activity when expressed in feline cells providing the first biological evidence that IFN-nu exhibits the proper hallmark bioactivity.


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Biological Characterization of Feline IFN Nu

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