Addition of a missense mutation present in the L gene of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cpts530/1030 to RSV vaccine candidate cpts248/404 increases its attenuation and temperature sensitivity.

Whitehead SS, Firestone CY, Karron RA, Crowe JE, Elkins WR, Collins PL, Murphy BR
J Virol. 1999 73 (2): 871-7

PMID: 9882287 · PMCID: PMC103906

Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cpts530/1030 is an attenuated, temperature-sensitive subgroup A vaccine candidate derived previously from cold-passaged RSV (cpRSV) by two sequential rounds of chemical mutagenesis and biological selection. Here, cpts530/1030 was shown to be highly attenuated in the upper and lower respiratory tracts of seronegative chimpanzees. However, evaluation in seropositive children showed that it retains sufficient replicative capacity and virulence to preclude its direct use as a live attenuated vaccine. Nucleotide sequence analysis of the genome of cpts530/1030 showed that it had acquired two nucleotide substitutions (compared to its cpts530 parent), both of which were in the L gene: a silent mutation at nucleotide position 8821 (amino acid 108) and a missense mutation at nucleotide position 12458 resulting in a tyrosine-to-asparagine change at amino acid 1321, herein referred to as the 1030 mutation. It also contained the previously identified 530 missense mutation at nucleotide 10060 in the L gene. The genetic basis of attenuation of cpts530/1030 was defined by the introduction of the 530 and 1030 mutations into a cDNA clone of cpRSV, from which recombinant RSV was derived and analyzed to determine the contribution of each mutation to the temperature sensitivity (ts) and attenuation (att) phenotypes of cpts530/1030. The 530 mutation, derived from cpts530, was previously shown to be responsible for the ts and att phenotypes of that virus. In the present study, the 1030 mutation was shown to be responsible for the increased temperature sensitivity of cpts530/1030. In addition, the 1030 mutation was shown to be responsible for the increased level of attenuation of cpts530/1030 in the upper and lower respiratory tracts of mice. The 530 and 1030 mutations were additive in their effects on the ts and att phenotypes. It was possible to introduce the 1030 mutation, but not the 530 mutation, into an attenuated vaccine candidate with residual reactogenicity in very young infants, namely, cpts248/404, by use of reverse genetics. The inability to introduce the 530 mutation into the cpts248/404 virus was shown to be due to its incompatibility with the 248 missense mutation at the level of L protein function. The resulting rA2cp248/404/1030 mutant virus was more temperature sensitive and more attenuated than the cpts248/404 parent virus, making it a promising new RSV vaccine candidate created by use of reverse genetics to improve upon an existing vaccine virus.

MeSH Terms (21)

Animals Cercopithecus aethiops Child, Preschool Double-Blind Method HN Protein Humans Infant Mice Mice, Inbred BALB C Mutation, Missense Pan troglodytes Respiratory Syncytial Virus, Human Sequence Analysis, DNA Temperature Tumor Cells, Cultured Vaccines, Attenuated Vero Cells Viral Envelope Proteins Viral Proteins Viral Vaccines Virus Replication

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