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Virology

AGS and other tissue culture cells can unknowingly be persistently infected with PIV5; a virus that blocks interferon signalling by degrading STAT1.


PMID 17509637

Abstract

Whilst screening various cell lines for their ability to respond to interferon (IFN), we noted that in comparison to other tissue culture cells AGS tumour cells, which are widely used in biomedical research, had very low levels of STAT1. Subsequent analysis showed that the reason for this is that AGS cells are persistently infected with parainfluenza virus type 5 (PIV5; formally known as SV5), a virus that blocks the interferon (IFN) response by targeting STAT1 for proteasome-mediated degradation. Virus protein expression in AGS is altered in comparison to the normal pattern of virus protein synthesis observed in acutely infected cells, suggesting that the AGS virus is defective. We discuss the relevance of these results in terms of the need to screen cell lines for persistent virus infections that can alter cellular functions.

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