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Viruses 2017, 9(1), 5; doi:10.3390/v9010005

Mx Is Not Responsible for the Antiviral Activity of Interferon-α against Japanese Encephalitis Virus

1
Key Laboratory of Animal Diseases Diagnosis and Immunology, Ministry of Agriculture, College of Veterinary Medicine, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing 210095, China
2
Shanghai Veterinary Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Science, Shanghai 200241, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Michael R. Holbrook
Received: 6 November 2016 / Revised: 14 December 2016 / Accepted: 28 December 2016 / Published: 10 January 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Flavivirus Research)
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Abstract

Mx proteins are interferon (IFN)-induced dynamin-like GTPases that are present in all vertebrates and inhibit the replication of myriad viruses. However, the role Mx proteins play in IFN-mediated suppression of Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) infection is unknown. In this study, we set out to investigate the effects of Mx1 and Mx2 expression on the interferon-α (IFNα) restriction of JEV replication. To evaluate whether the inhibitory activity of IFNα on JEV is dependent on Mx1 or Mx2, we knocked down Mx1 or Mx2 with siRNA in IFNα-treated PK-15 cells and BHK-21 cells, then challenged them with JEV; the production of progeny virus was assessed by plaque assay, RT-qPCR, and Western blotting. Our results demonstrated that depletion of Mx1 or Mx2 did not affect JEV restriction imposed by IFNα, although these two proteins were knocked down 66% and 79%, respectively. Accordingly, expression of exogenous Mx1 or Mx2 did not change the inhibitory activity of IFNα to JEV. In addition, even though virus-induced membranes were damaged by Brefeldin A (BFA), overexpressing porcine Mx1 or Mx2 did not inhibit JEV proliferation. We found that BFA inhibited JEV replication, not maturation, suggesting that BFA could be developed into a novel antiviral reagent. Collectively, our findings demonstrate that IFNα inhibits JEV infection by Mx-independent pathways. View Full-Text
Keywords: Mx1; Mx2; interferon-α (IFNα); Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV); antivirus; Brefeldin A (BFA) Mx1; Mx2; interferon-α (IFNα); Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV); antivirus; Brefeldin A (BFA)
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Zhou, J.; Wang, S.-Q.; Wei, J.-C.; Zhang, X.-M.; Gao, Z.-C.; Liu, K.; Ma, Z.-Y.; Chen, P.-Y.; Zhou, B. Mx Is Not Responsible for the Antiviral Activity of Interferon-α against Japanese Encephalitis Virus. Viruses 2017, 9, 5.

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