Reporter Viruses

Because of the small size of the NanoLuc® luciferase reporter gene and the HiBiT tag, they can be inserted into the viral genome without disrupting packaging or enzyme activities, for easy monitoring of viral processes in vivo.

Small Reporters Advance Virology Research

Recombinant reporter viruses are important tools for furthering our understanding of viral life cycles and lethality in cell and animal models. Reporter viruses make it easier to follow infection in the same animal over time and quantify events such as cellular entry and replication.

Insertion of large reporter genes (e.g., firefly luciferase) into the genome often causes defects in viral processes. Because of their small size, NanoLuc® and HiBiT tags can be stably inserted into the viral genome without disrupting the natural biology of the virus. This article highlights several recent studies that use NanoLuc® and NanoBiT® technologies to create stable reporter viruses to investigate viral pathogenecity and transmission in vitro and in vivo.


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Luciferase Size Comparison


Recombinant Reporter Viruses with NanoLuc® Luciferase

A number of recombinant viruses and virus-like particles have been created with NanoLuc® Luciferase. To search for a citation featuring a recombinant NanoLuc® virus, enter the virus name in the Search box below. 


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Adenovirus Zhang, W. et al. (2017) An engineered virus library as a resource for the spectrum-wide exploration of virus and vector diversity. Cell Rep. 19, 1698–709.
(Junín Virus)
Dunham, E.C. et al. (2018) Lifecycle modelling systems support inosine monophosphate dehydrogenase (IMPDH) as a pro-viral factor and antiviral target for new world arenaviruses. Antivir. Res. 157, 140–50.
Bovine  Viral Diarrhea Virus Büning, M.K. et al. (2017) Nonreplicative RNA recombination of an animal plus-strand RNA virus in the absence of efficient translation of viral proteins. Genome Biol. Evol. 9, 817–29.
Chikungunya Virus Wada, Y. et al. (2017) Discovery of a novel antiviral agent targeting the nonstructural protein 4 (nsP4) of chikungunya virus. Virology 505, 102–12.
Coronavirus (Feline)
Terada, al. (2019) Establishment of a virulent full-length cDNA clone for type I feline coronavirus strain C3663. J. Virol. 93, e01208–19.
Sheahan, T.P. et al. (2017) Broad-spectrum antiviral GS-5734 inhibits both epidemic and zoonotic coronaviruses. Sci. Transl. Med. 9, eaal3653.
Coronavirus (SARS) Agostini, M.L. et al. (2018) Coronavirus susceptibility to the antiviral Remdesivir (GS-5734) Is mediated by the viral polymerase and the proofreading exoribonuclease. mBio 9, e00221–18.
Crimean-Congo Hemorrhagic Fever Virus Schotte, F.E.M. et al. (2017) Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus suppresses innate immune responses via a ubiquitin and ISG15 specific protease. Cell Rep. 20, 2396–407.
Dengue Virus Eyre, N.S. et al. (2017) Genome-wide mutagenesis of Dengue virus reveals plasticity of the NS1 protein and enables generation of infectious tagged reporter viruses. J. Virol. 91, e01455–17.
Duck Tembusu Virus He, Y. et al. (2019) Genetically stable reporter virus, subgenomic replicon and packaging system of duck Tembusu virus based on a reverse genetics system. Virology 533, 86–92.
Ebola VIrus Urata, S., Ishikawa, T. and Yasuda, J. (2019) Roles of YIGL sequence of Ebola virus VP40 on genome replication and particle production. J. Gen. Virol. 100, 1099–111.
Eilat Virus Reynaud, J.M. et al. (2015) IFIT1 differentially interferes with translation and replication of alphavirus genomes and promotes induction of type I interferon. PLoS Pathog. 11, e1004863
Enterovirus Wu, K.X. and Chu, J.J.-H. (2017) Antiviral screen identifies EV71 inhibitors and reveals camptothecin-target, DNA topoisomerase 1 as a novel EV71 host factor. Antivir. Res. 143, 122–33.
Equine Encephalitis Virus (Venezuelan) Reynaud, J.M. et al. (2015) IFIT1 differentially interferes with translation and replication of alphavirus genomes and promotes induction of type I interferon. PLoS Pathog. 11, e1004863.
Foot and Mouth Disease Virus Zhang, F. et al. (2017) A replication-competent foot-and-mouth disease virus expressing a luciferase reporter. J. Virol. Meth. 247, 38–44.
Hepatitis A Yamane, al. (2019) Basal expression of interferon regulatory factor 1 drive intrinsic hepatocyte resistance to multiple RNA viruses. Nat. Microbiol. 4, 1096–104.
Hepatitis B Nishitsuji, H. et al. (2018) TIP60 complex inhibits HBV transcription. J. Virol. 92, e01788–17.
Hepatitis C Eyre, N.S. et al. (2017) Sensitive luminescent reporter viruses reveal appreciable release of hepatitis C virus NS5A protein into the extracellular environment. Virology 507, 20–31.
Hepatitis E Szkolnicka, D. et al. (2019) Recombinant hepatitis E viruses harboring tags in the ORF1 protein. J. Virol. 93, e00459–19.
HIV-1 Astronomo, R.D. et al. (2017) Neutralization takes precedence over IgG or IgA isotype-related functions in mucosal HIV-1 antibody-mediated protection. EbioMedicine 14, 97–111.
Human Papillomavirus Piirsoo, A. et al. (2019) Activity of CK2α protein kinase is required for efficient replication of some HPY types. PLoS Pathog.15, e1007788.
Influenza A Diot, C. et al. (2016) Influenza A virus polymerase recruits the RNA helicase DDX19 to promote the nuclear export of viral mRNAs. Sci. Reports 6, 33763.
Influenza B Fulton, B.O. Palese, P. and Heaton, N.S. (2015) Replication-competent influenza B reporter viruses as tools for screening antivirals and antibodies. J. Virol. 89, 12226–31.
Japanese Encephalitis Virus Honjo, S., Masuda, M. and Ishikawa, T. (2019) Effects of the Japanese Encephalitis Virus genotype V-derived sub-viral particles on the immunogenicity of the vaccine characterized by a novel virus-like particle-based assay. Vaccines 7, 81.
JC Polyomavirus Geoghegan, al. (2017) Infectious entry and neutralization of pathogenic JC polyomaviruses. Cell Rep. 21, 1169–79.
Mayaro Virus Weger-Lucarelli, J. et al. (2019) Host nutritional status affects alphavirus virulence, transmission and evolution. PLoS Pathog. 15, e1008089.
Kanai, Y. et al. (2019) In vivo live imaging of oncolytic mammalian orthoreovirus expressing NanoLuc luciferase in tumor xenograft mice. J. Virol. 93, e00401–19.
Rabies Virus Nakagawa, K. et al. (2017) Molecular function analysis of rabies virus RNA polymerase L protein by using an L gene-deficient virus. J. Virol. 91, e00826–17.
Ross River Virus Belarbi, E. et al. (2019) Bioluminescent Ross River Virus allows live monitoring of acute and long-term alphaviral infection by in vivo imaging. Viruses 11, 584.
Rotavirus Kanai, Y. et al. (2017) Entirely plasmid-based reverse genetics system for rotaviruses. PNAS 114, 2349–54.
Semliki Forest Virus Sarén, T. et al. (2017) Insertion of the type-I IFN decoy receptor B18R in a miRNA-tagged Semliki Forest virus improves oncolytic capacity but results in neurotoxicity. Mol. Ther. Oncolytics 7, 67–75.
Sendai Virus Goto, al. (2016) Evidence that receptor destruction by the Sendai virus hemagglutinin-neuraminidase protein is responsible for homologous interference. J. Virol. 90, 7640–6.
Sindbis Virus Sokoloski, K.J. et al. (2017) Identification of interactions between Sindbis virus capsid protein and cytoplasmic vRNA as novel virulence determinants. PLoS Pathog. 13, e1006473.
Vesicular Stomatitis Virus Halbherr, S.J. et al. (2015) Biological and protective properties of immune sera directed to the influenza virus neuraminidase. J. Virol. 89, 1550–63.
West Nile Virus Setoh, Y.X. et al. (2017) Helicase domain of West Nile virus NS3 protein plays a role in inhibition of type I interferon signalling. Viruses 9, 326.
Zika Virus Mutso, M. et al. (2017) Reverse genetic system, genetically stable reporter viruses and packaged subgenomic replicon based on a Brazilian Zika virus isolate. J. Gen. Virol. 98, 2712–24