Rabies virus (RABV) is a single-stranded, negative-sense RNA virus that causes a fatal neurological disease in humans and animals. Our previous studies have shown that lab-adapted, but not wild-type (wt), RABV enhances innate immune responses including type I interferon (IFN) and chemokines. To determine if treatment with type I IFN can inhibit RABV infection, mouse neuroblastoma and baby hamster kidney cells were treated with IFN-α before being infected with lab-adapted or wt RABV. It was found that lab-adapted, but not the wt, RABV was able to replicate in IFN-α-pretreated cells. To determine the genes in wt RABV that confer sensitivity to IFN-α treatment, the P and the glycoprotein (G) genes from the wt RABV were used to replace the respective genes in the lab-adapted RABV. The results revealed that it is the P, not the G, gene that is associated with IFN sensitivity. Further studies have identified the regions containing the self-association domain (residues 59-139) and the C-terminal (residue 175-297) region on the P that might be associated with IFN sensitivity. The expression of ISGs, such as ISG15, ISG56, PKR, OAS-1G, was also investigated and found to be greatly increased in wt, but not in lab-adapted RABV-infected cells. It is possible that the P protein from the lab-adapted RABV can interfere with the downstream events in the interferon-signaling cascade.
Archives of Virology – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 1, 2013
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