Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 16084555
Virology 2005 Oct;341(1):34-46
We generated recombinant A/WSN/33 influenza A viruses expressing a PB2 protein fused to a Flag epitope at the N- (Flag-PB2) or C-terminus (PB2-Flag), which replicated efficiently and proved to be stable upon serial passage in vitro on MDCK cells. Rescue of PB2-Flag viruses required that the 5′ end of the PB2 segment was kept identical to the wild-type beyond the 34 noncoding terminal nucleotides. This feature was achieved by a duplication of the 109 last nucleotides encoding PB2 between the Flag sequence and the 5’NCR. In PB2 mini-genomes rescue experiments, both the 5′ and 3′ coding ends of the PB2 segment were found to promote the incorporation of mini-genomes into virions. However, the presence of the Flag sequence at the junction between the 3’NCR and the coding sequence did not prevent the rescue of Flag-PB2 viruses. Our observations define requirements that may be useful for the purpose of engineering influenza RNAs.