In previous work, we demonstrated that the arenavirus Junín virus (JUNV) is able to activate Akt by means of the phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase (PI3K) survival pathway during virus entry. This work extends our study, emphasizing the relevance of this pathway in the establishment and maintenance of persistent infection in vitro . During the course of infection, JUNV-infected Vero cells showed a typical cytopathic effect that may be ascribed to apoptotic cell death. Treatment of infected cultures with Ly294002, an inhibitor of the PI3K/Akt pathway, produced an apoptotic response similar to that observed for uninfected cells treated with the drug. This result suggests that virus-induced activation of the PI3K/Akt pathway does not deliver a strong enough anti-apoptotic signal to explain the low proportion of apoptotic cells observed during infection. Also, inhibition of the PI3K/Akt pathway during the acute stage of infection did not prevent the establishment of persistence. Furthermore, treatment of persistently JUNV-infected cells with Ly294002 did not alter viral protein expression. These findings indicate that despite the positive modulation of the PI3/Akt pathway during Junín virus entry, this would not play a critical role in the establishment and maintenance of JUNV persistence in Vero cells.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Feb 1, 2015
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