Author(s): Tran AT, Cortens JP, Du Q, Wilkins JA, Coombs KM
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Abstract Influenza virus infection results in host cell death and major tissue damage. Specific components of the apoptotic pathway, a signaling cascade that ultimately leads to cell death, are implicated in promoting influenza virus replication. BAD is a cell death regulator that constitutes a critical control point in the intrinsic apoptosis pathway, which occurs through the dysregulation of mitochondrial outer membrane permeabilization and the subsequent activation of downstream apoptogenic factors. Here we report a novel proviral role for the proapoptotic protein BAD in influenza virus replication. We show that influenza virus-induced cytopathology and cell death are considerably inhibited in BAD knockdown cells and that both virus replication and viral protein production are dramatically reduced, which suggests that virus-induced apoptosis is BAD dependent. Our data showed that influenza viruses induced phosphorylation of BAD at residues S112 and S136 in a temporal manner. Viral infection also induced BAD cleavage, late in the viral life cycle, to a truncated form that is reportedly a more potent inducer of apoptosis. We further demonstrate that knockdown of BAD resulted in reduced cytochrome c release and suppression of the intrinsic apoptotic pathway during influenza virus replication, as seen by an inhibition of caspases-3, caspase-7, and procyclic acidic repetitive protein (PARP) cleavage. Our data indicate that influenza viruses carefully modulate the activation of the apoptotic pathway that is dependent on the regulatory function of BAD and that failure of apoptosis activation resulted in unproductive viral replication.
This article was published in J Virol
and referenced in Journal of Infectious Diseases & Preventive Medicine