Identification of possible infectious bursal disease virus receptors.
Edwards, Thomas Jonathan.
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Infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV) is a chicken pathogen that infects the bursa of Fabricius, an organ involved in the development of the immune system in chickens. Infection by the virus leads to destruction of the bursa and immunosuppression. Infection by virulent strains may result in mortality. Current methods to combat the virus involve the use of vaccines. These are usually a mixture of live attenuated and oil inactivated virus. Variant strains of the virus are able to escape the vaccine-generated antibodies. In addition, the vaccines result in damage to the bursa. Identification of a receptor for IBDV could result in the development of either treatment for the virus or superior vaccines by interfering with the attachment of the virus to host cells. Several methods for identifying IBDV binding proteins from the membranes of cells from the bursa of Fabricius were examined. Affinity chromatography of IBDV binding proteins with a matrix consisting of IBDV cross-linked to Sepharose 4B allowed separation of a number of virus binding proteins. In contrast, virus overlay protein blot assay (VOPBA) and reversible cross-linking with 2-iminothiolane proved less; conclusive. Predominant proteins in the affinity-separated fraction were of 40 and 32 kDa. These were further examined by N-terminal amino acid sequencing of the whole protein and N-terminal sequencing of peptides produced by endoproteinase Lys-C digestion of the protein respectively. The 40 kDa protein showed homology with human synovial stimulatory protein involved in the formation of autoantibodies in rheumatoid arthritis. Virus was also shown to bind to a 440 kDa protein complex. This 440 kDa protein complex appeared to consist primarily of a 40 kDa protein when examined by reducing Tris-Tricine SDS-PAGE. Analysis of bursal membrane proteins by Western blots using sera from rheumatoid arthritis patients revealed interactions between several IBDV proteins and the antibodies from rheumatoid arthritis patients. Using serum from one of the five patients showed a strong interaction at approximately 80 kDa and a weaker interaction at approximately 40 kDa. This may indicate an immune reaction between a chicken homolog of the synovial stimulatory protein and antibodies in rheumatoid arthritis sera. The 32 kDa protein showed homology to a Pseudomonas fluorescens protein. A section of this sequence was amplified by PCR from chicken DNA and RT-PCR from chicken RNA using degenerate primers constructed from the established N-terminal amino acid sequences and chicken codon usage tables. The fragment produced upon amplification from chicken DNA and RNA did not correspond to the predicted size of 177 bp. In contrast, when the RT-PCR product was heated and snap cooled before examination by agarose gel electrophoresis, the product consisted of two fragments, one of approximately 400 bp in size and one of approximately 200 bp in size. The establishment ofthe 40 and 32 kDa chicken bursal membrane proteins as possible receptors for the virus could allow for the development of vaccines and/or treatment strategies for the virus. Treatment strategies or vaccines would be based on blocking of the interaction between IBDV and chicken host cells. Peptide mimics of the epitopes involved in such interactions could possibly achieve this.