Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription (STAT) 1 and 2 molecules are part of the interferon (IFN) type I and type II (γIFN) signalling pathways, key pathways in the innate immune response. Genomic sequence regions upstream from the 5-prime Salmo salar ORFs were obtained and shown to have functional activity through their incorporation into luciferase reporter constructs and subsequent activation by salmonid alpha virus (SAV). The STAT1 and STAT2 putative promoter regions were also induced by co-transfected plasmids expressing γIFN and IFN type I respectively. Two IFN-induced gene regulatory motifs (GAAANN) associated in a complete Interferon Stimulating Response Element (ISRE) were identified in the STAT1 putative promoter sequence and several GAS elements conforming to Boehm's consensus TTNCNNNAA. Sixteen IFN-induced gene regulatory motifs (GAAANN) could be identified in the STAT2 putative promoter region but no Boehm's GAS element nor ISRE. A palindromic sequence that conforms to Decker's consensus GAS element TTCNNN(N)GAA was identified. The reporter constructs generated here may prove an additional tool for refining knowledge on interferon signalling in fish and the inhibition of such by some fish viral pathogens.
Keywords: Promoter; Reporter system; STAT1; STAT2; Viral infection.
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