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PLoS pathogens

Actin-Related Protein 2 (ARP2) and Virus-Induced Filopodia Facilitate Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus Spread.


PMID 27926942

Abstract

Human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is an enveloped RNA virus that is the most important viral cause of acute pediatric lower respiratory tract illness worldwide, and lacks a vaccine or effective antiviral drug. The involvement of host factors in the RSV replicative cycle remains poorly characterized. A genome-wide siRNA screen in human lung epithelial A549 cells identified actin-related protein 2 (ARP2) as a host factor involved in RSV infection. ARP2 knockdown did not reduce RSV entry, and did not markedly reduce gene expression during the first 24 hr of infection, but decreased viral gene expression thereafter, an effect that appeared to be due to inhibition of viral spread to neighboring cells. Consistent with reduced spread, there was a 10-fold reduction in the release of infectious progeny virions in ARP2-depleted cells at 72 hr post-infection. In addition, we found that RSV infection induced filopodia formation and increased cell motility in A549 cells and that this phenotype was ARP2 dependent. Filopodia appeared to shuttle RSV to nearby uninfected cells, facilitating virus spread. Expression of the RSV F protein alone from a plasmid or heterologous viral vector in A549 cells induced filopodia, indicating a new role for the RSV F protein, driving filopodia induction and virus spread. Thus, this study identified roles for ARP2 and filopodia in RSV-induced cell motility, RSV production, and RSV cell-to-cell spread.

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