Author(s): Perino J, Crouzier D, Spehner D, Debouzy JC, Garin D,
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Abstract Vaccinia virus (VACV) was used as a surrogate of Variola virus (genus Orthopoxvirus), the causative agent of smallpox, to study orthopoxvirus infection via the respiratory airway. Lung surfactant, a physiological barrier to infection encountered by the virus, is predominantly composed of phospholipids whose role during orthopoxvirus infection has not been investigated. An attenuated Lister strain, derived from the traditional smallpox vaccine and the Western Reserve (WR) strain, lethal for mice infected by the respiratory route, were examined for their ability to bind various surfactant phospholipids. Dipalmitoyl phosphatidylglycerol (DPPG) was found to interact with both VACV strains. DPPG incorporated in small unilamellar vesicle (SUV-DPPG) inhibited VACV cell infection, unlike other phospholipids tested. Both pre-incubation of virus with SUV-DPPG and pretreatment of the cell with SUV-DPPG inhibited cell infection. This specific DPPG effect was shown to be concentration and time dependent and to prevent the first step of the viral cycle, i.e. virus cell attachment. Cryo-electron microscopy highlighted the interaction between the virus and SUV-DPPG. In the presence of the phospholipid, virus particles displayed a hedgehog-like appearance due to the attachment of lipid vesicles. Mice infected intranasally with VACV-WR pre-incubated with SUV-DPPG survived a lethal infection. These data suggest that DPPG in lung surfactant could reduce the amount of orthopoxvirus particles able to infect pneumocytes at the beginning of a respiratory poxvirus infection. The knowledge acquired during this study of virus-DPPG interactions may be used to develop novel chemotherapeutic strategies for smallpox. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Antiviral Res
and referenced in Journal of Data Mining in Genomics & Proteomics