Preliminary characterization of coxsackievirus B3 temperature-sensitive mutants

C. J. Gauntt, M. D. Trousdale, J. C. Lee, R. E. Paque

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Prototype temperature-sensitive (ts) mutants of a coxsackievirus B3 parent virus capable of replication to similar levels at 34 or 39.5°C were examined for the nature of the temperature-sensitive event restricting replication in HeLa cells at 39.5°C. The ts mutant prototypes represented three different non-overlapping complementation groups. The ts1 mutant (complementation group III) synthesized < 1% of the infectious genomic RNA synthesized by the coxsackievirus B3 parent virus at 39.5°C and was designated an RNA- mutant. Agarose gel analysis of glyoxal-treated RNA from cells inoculated with ts1 virus revealed that cell RNA synthesis continued in the presence of synthesis of the small amount of viral RNA. This mutant was comparatively ineffective in inducing cell cytopathology and in directing synthesis of viral polypeptides, likely due to the paucity of nascent genomes for translation. The ts5 mutant (complementation group II) directed synthesis of appreciable quantities of both viral genomes (RNA+) and capsid polypeptides; however, assembly of these products into virions occurred at a low frequency, and virions assembled at 39.5° C were highly unstable at that temperature. Shift-down experiments with ts5-inoculated cells showed that capsid precursor materials synthesized at 39.5°C can, after shift to 34° C, be incorporated into ts5 virions. We suggest that the temperature-sensitive defect in this prototype is in the synthesis of one of the capsid polypeptides that cannot renature into the correct configuration required for stability in the capsid at 39.5°C. The ts11 mutant (complementation group I) also synthesized appreciable amounts of viral genomes (RNA+) and viral polypeptides at 39.5°C. Assembly of ts11 virions at 39.5°C occurred at a low frequency, and the stability of these virions at 39.5°C was similar to that of the parent coxsackievirus B3 virions. The temperature-sensitive defect in the ts11 prototype is apparently in assembly. The differences in biochemical properties of the three prototype ts mutants at temperatures above 34°C may ultimately offer insight into the differences in pathogenicity observed in neonatal mice for the three prototype ts mutants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1037-1047
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1983
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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