May 11, 2011

Role of sulfatide in vaccinia virus infection

Biology of the Cell
Julien PerinoAnne-Laure Favier


Vaccinia virus (VACV) was used as a surrogate of variola virus (genus Orthopoxvirus), the causative agent of smallpox, to study orthopoxvirus infection. VACV infects cells via attachment and fusion of the viral membrane with the host cell membrane. Glycosphingolipids, expressed in multiple organs, are major components of lipid rafts and have been associated with the infectious route of several pathogens. We demonstrate that the VACV-WR (VACV Western-Reserve strain) displays no binding to Cer (ceramide) or to Gal-Cer (galactosylceramide), but binds to a natural sulfated derivative of these molecules: the Sulf (sulfatide) 3' sulfogalactosylceramide. The interaction between Sulf and VACV-WR resulted in a time-dependent inhibition of virus infection. Virus cell attachment was the crucial step inhibited by Sulf. Electron microscopy showed that SUVs (small unilamellar vesicles) enriched in Sulf bound to VACV particles. Both the A27 and L5 viral membrane proteins were shown to interact with Sulf, indicating that they could be the major viral ligands for Sulf. Soluble Sulf was successful in preventing mortality, but not morbidity, in a lethal mouse model infection with VACV-WR. Together the results suggest that Sulf could play a role a...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Tumor Virus Infections
Buffalopox virus
Morbidity Aspects
Vaccinia virus
Virus Diseases
Structure-Activity Relationship
Viral Matrix Proteins

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