Structural protein VP2 of African horse sickness virus is not essential for virus replication in vitro

René G.P. van Gennip*, Sandra G.P. van de Water, Christiaan A. Potgieter, Piet A. van Rijn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The Reoviridae family consists of nonenveloped multilayered viruses with a double-stranded RNA genome consisting of 9 to 12 genome segments. The Orbivirus genus of the Reoviridae family contains African horse sickness virus (AHSV), bluetongue virus, and epizootic hemorrhagic disease virus, which cause notifiable diseases and are spread by biting Culicoides species. Here, we used reverse genetics for AHSV to study the role of outer capsid protein VP2, encoded by genome segment 2 (Seg-2). Expansion of a previously found deletion in Seg-2 indicates that structural protein VP2 of AHSV is not essential for virus replication in vitro. In addition, inframe replacement of RNA sequences in Seg-2 by that of green fluorescence protein (GFP) resulted in AHSV expressing GFP, which further confirmed that VP2 is not essential for virus replication. In contrast to virus replication without VP2 expression in mammalian cells, virus replication in insect cells was strongly reduced, and virus release from insect cells was completely abolished. Further, the other outer capsid protein, VP5, was not copurified with virions for virus mutants without VP2 expression. AHSV without VP5 expression, however, could not be recovered, indicating that outer capsid protein VP5 is essential for virus replication in vitro. Our results demonstrate for the first time that a structural viral protein is not essential for orbivirus replication in vitro, which opens new possibilities for research on other members of the Reoviridae family.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere01328-16
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • AHSV
  • Orbivirus
  • Reovirus
  • Reverse genetics
  • Structural protein VP2
  • Virus replication


Dive into the research topics of 'Structural protein VP2 of African horse sickness virus is not essential for virus replication in vitro'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this