Multi-cycle replication and plaque formation of influenza A and B viruses and cleavage activation of their hemagglutinin (HA) by an endogenous protease(s) were examined in two MDCK cell lines, MDCK(−) and MDCK(+). No exogenous trypsin was required for multi-cycle replication and plaque formation of all the influenza A viruses tested in the MDCK(+) cell, while those of the viruses in the MDCK(−) cell were completely trypsin-dependent. In both cell lines, on the other hand, influenza B viruses grew well in the absence of trypsin. The capability of multiple replication and plaque formation of the influenza viruses correlated with cleavage of the HA precursor (HA 0 ) to HA 1 and HA 2 , indicating that both cell lines express an HA activating endoprotease(s); that of the MDCK(+) cell activates the HA of influenza A and B viruses, and that of the MDCK(−) cell does only the HA of influenza B virus. Furthermore, the protease of the MDCK(+) cell was strongly suggested to be present on the cell surface and a serine protease. The MDCK(+) cell would be useful for isolation of influenza viruses from clinical specimens and for screening of protease inhibitors for anti-influenza virus drugs.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 1, 1998
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