Identification and characterization of two novel transcription units of porcine circovirus 2

Zhangzhao Gao, Qinfang Dong, Yonghou Jiang, Tanja Opriessnig, Jingxiu Wang, Yanping Quan, Zongqi Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) infection is associated with porcine circovirus-associated diseases in pigs, which is a serious threat to the swine industry worldwide. To date, only three open reading frames (ORFs) within the PCV2 genome have been reported: ORF1 codes for two replicase proteins (Rep and Rep'), ORF2 for the structural protein (Cap), and ORF3 for a protein implicated in cellular apoptosis. In this study, based on transcription analysis of ORF3 mRNA, a potential ORF4 mRNA was detected and characterized by real-time RT-PCR and rapid amplification of cDNA ends analysis. The results indicate that the ORF4 gene is expressed at the level of transcription in the PCV2-infected cells. In addition, a novel ORF3 associated (ORF3') mRNA was identified during virus replication in PK15 cells. Moreover, a 3' poly(A) addition signal sequence (AUUAAA, nt 258-263) was found 10-30 nucleotides upstream of the cleavage site in the novel ORF4 mRNA in the complementary-strand of the PCV2 genome. Furthermore, alternate trans-splicing was identified in the ORF3' mRNA between orientation diverse transcripts with typical GT-AG donor/acceptor junctions. Similar strategies as in this work can be applied to examine the transcription of other potential ORFs in PCV in the future.
Original languageEnglish
JournalVirus Genes
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jun 2013


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