Promoter of chicken MDA-5 gene identified

Melanoma differentiation-associated gene 5 (MDA5) is a member of the retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I)-like receptors (RLRs) family and plays a pivotal role in the anti-viral innate immune response. As RIG-I is absent in chickens, MDA5 is hypothesized to be important in detecting viral nucleic acids in the cytoplasm. However, the molecular mechanism of the regulation of chicken MDA5 (chMDA5) expression has yet to be fully elucidated. With this in mind, a ∼2.5kb chMDA5 gene promoter region was examined and PCR amplified to assess its role in immune response. A chMDA5 promoter reporter plasmid (piggybac-MDA5-DsRed) was constructed and transfected into DF-1 cells to establish a Piggybac-MDA5-DsRed cell line. The MDA5 promoter activity was extremely low under basal condition, but was dramatically increased when cells were stimulated with polyinosinic: polycytidylic acid (poly I:C), interferon beta (IFN-β) or Infectious Bursal Disease Virus (IBDV). The DsRed mRNA level represented the promoter activity and was remarkably increased, which matched the expression of endogenous MDA5. However, Infectious Bronchitis Virus (IBV) and Newcastle disease virus (NDV) failed to increase the MDA5 promoter activity and the expression of endogenous MDA5. The results indicated that the promoter and the Piggybac-MDA5-DsRed cell line could be utilized to determine whether a ligand regulates MDA5 expression. For the first time, this study provides a tool for testing chMDA5 expression and regulation.

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