The Journal of general virology

HMG-CoA reductase is negatively associated with PCV2 infection and PCV2-induced apoptotic cell death.

PMID 24643880


We examined the role of HMG-CoA reductase (HMGCR) during porcine circovirus 2 (PCV2) infection. The results demonstrated that levels of endogenous HMGCR were not significantly different in PCV2-infected cells and mock-infected cells. However, the level of phosphorylated HMGCR, an inactivated form of HMGCR, was increased in PCV2-infected cells. Furthermore, HMGCR was upregulated by overexpression, silenced by siRNA or inactivated using its dominant-negative form in PK-15 cells. The results showed that PCV2 infection was inhibited by HMGCR overexpression, whereas it was significantly increased in HMGCR-silenced cells and HMGCR inhibitor-treated cells. Moreover, there was a robust apoptotic response at 48 h post-infection (p.i.) in HMGCR-inactivated cells, and this response was significantly greater than that observed in PK-15 cells. A modest apoptotic response was also observed in HMGCR-silenced cells. Caspase-3 activity was also analysed in PCV2-infected cells at 48 h p.i. As expected, caspase-3 activity was significantly increased in HMGCR-inactivated and -silenced cells compared with PK-15 cells. PCV2 replication was dose-dependently increased in HMGCR-inactivated cells when treated with increasing amounts of caspase-3 inhibitor. Altogether, HMGCR was negatively associated with PCV2 infection and PCV2-induced apoptotic cell death. These data demonstrated that HMGCR can be used as a candidate target for PCV2 disease control and antivirus research. Furthermore, the cells generated in this study can be used to evaluate the potential effects of HMGCR on PCV2 replication.