PEDV ORF3 encodes an ion channel protein and regulates virus production

Kai Wang, Wei Lu, Jianfei Chen, Shiqi Xie, Hongyan Shi, Haojen Hsu, Wenjing Yu, Ke Xu, Chao Bian, Wolfgang B. Fischer, Wolfgang Schwarz, Li Feng, Bing Sun*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations


Several studies suggest that the open reading frame 3 (ORF3) gene of porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) is related to viral infectivity and pathogenicity, but its function remains unknown. Here, we propose a structure model of the ORF3 protein consisting of four TM domains and forming a tetrameric assembly. ORF3 protein can be detected in PEDV-infected cells and it functions as an ion channel in both Xenopus laevis oocytes and yeast. Mutation analysis showed that Tyr170 in TM4 is important for potassium channel activity. Furthermore, viral production is reduced in infected Vero cells when ORF3 gene is silenced by siRNA. Interestingly, the ORF3 gene from an attenuated PEDV encodes a truncated protein with 49 nucleotide deletions, which lacks the ion channel activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)384-391
Number of pages8
JournalFEBS Letters
Issue number4
StatePublished - 17 Feb 2012


  • Ion channel
  • Molecular dynamics
  • ORF3
  • PEDV


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