To test requirement for apoptin in the replication of chicken anemia virus (CAV), an apoptin-knockout clone, pCAV/Ap(-), was constructed. DNA replication was completely abolished in cells transfected with replicative form of CAV/Ap(-). A reverse mutant competent in apoptin production regained the full level of DNA replication. DNA replication and virus-like particle (VLP) production of CAV/Ap(-) was fully complemented by supplementation of the wild-type apoptin. The virus yield of a point mutant, CAV/ApT108I, was 1/40 that of the wild type, even though its DNA replication level was full. The infectious titer of CAV was fully complemented by supplementing apoptin. Progeny virus was free from reverse mutation for T108I. To localize the domain within apoptin molecule inevitable for CAV replication, apoptin-mutant expressing plasmids, pAp1, pAp2, pAp3, and pAp4, were constructed by deleting amino acids 10-36, 31-59, 59-88 and 80-112, respectively. While Ap1 and Ap2 were preferentially localized in nuclei, Ap3 and Ap4 were mainly present in cytoplasm. Although complementation capacity of Ap3 and Ap4 was 1/10 of the wild type, neither of them completely lost its activity. VP3 of TTV did fully complement the DNA replication and VLP of CAV/Ap(-). These data suggest that apoptin is inevitable not only for DNA replication but also VLP of CAV. The common feature of apoptin and TTV-VP3 presented another evidence for close relatedness of CAV and TTV. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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