#Tetherin inhibits #Nipah virus but not #Ebola virus replication in fruit #bat cells (J Virol., abstract)

[Source: Journal of Virology, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

Tetherin inhibits Nipah virus but not Ebola virus replication in fruit bat cells

Markus Hoffmann, Inga Nehlmeier, Constantin Brinkmann, Verena Krähling, Laura Behner, Anna-Sophie Moldenhauer, Nadine Krüger, Julia Nehls, Michael Schindler, Thomas Hoenen,Andrea Maisner, Stephan Becker, Stefan Pöhlmann

DOI: 10.1128/JVI.01821-18



Ebola virus (EBOV) and Nipah virus (NiV) infection of humans can cause fatal disease and constitutes a public health threat. In contrast, EBOV and NiV infection of fruit bats, the putative (EBOV) or proven (NiV) natural reservoir, is not associated with disease and it is currently unknown how these animals control the virus. The human interferon (IFN)-stimulated antiviral effector protein tetherin (CD317, BST-2) blocks release of EBOV- and NiV-like particles from cells and is counteracted by the EBOV glycoprotein (GP). In contrast, it is unknown whether fruit bat tetherin restricts virus infection and is susceptible to GP-driven antagonism. Here, we report the sequence of fruit bat tetherin and show that its expression is IFN-stimulated and associated with strong antiviral activity. Moreover, we demonstrate that EBOV-GP antagonizes tetherin orthologues of diverse species but fails to efficiently counteract fruit bat tetherin in virus-like particle (VLP) release assays. However, unexpectedly, tetherin was dispensable for robust IFN-mediated inhibition of EBOV spread in fruit bat cells. Thus, the VLP-based model system mimicking tetherin-mediated inhibition of EBOV release and its counteraction by GP seems not to adequately reflect all aspects of EBOV release from IFN-stimulated fruit bat cells, potentially due to differences in tetherin expression levels that could not be resolved by the present study. In contrast, tetherin expression was essential for IFN-dependent inhibition of NiV infection, demonstrating that IFN-induced fruit bat tetherin exerts antiviral activity and may critically contribute to control of NiV and potentially other highly virulent viruses in infected animals.



Ebola virus and Nipah virus (EBOV, NiV) can cause fatal disease in humans. In contrast, infected fruit bats do not develop symptoms but can transmit the virus to humans. Why fruit bats but not humans control infection is largely unknown. Tetherin is an antiviral host cell protein and is counteracted by the EBOV glycoprotein in human cells. Here, employing model systems, we show that tetherin of fruit bats displays higher antiviral activity than human tetherin and is largely resistant against counteraction by the Ebola virus glycoprotein. Moreover, we demonstrate that induction of tetherin expression is critical for interferon-mediated inhibition of NiV but, for at present unknown reasons, not EBOV spread in fruit bat cells. Collectively, our findings identify tetherin as an antiviral effector of innate immune responses in fruit bats, which might allow these animals to control infection with NiV and potentially other viruses that cause severe disease in humans.

Copyright © 2018 American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.

Keywords: Ebola; Nipah; Viral pathogenesis; Bats.


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Giuseppe Michieli

I am an Italian blogger, active since 2005 with main focus on emerging infectious diseases such as avian influenza, SARS, antibiotics resistance, and many other global Health issues. Other fields of interest are: climate change, global warming, geological and biological sciences. My activity consists mainly in collection and analysis of news, public services updates, confronting sources and making decision about what are the 'signals' of an impending crisis (an outbreak, for example). When a signal is detected, I follow traces during the entire course of an event. I started in 2005 my blog ''A TIME'S MEMORY'', now with more than 40,000 posts and 3 millions of web interactions. Subsequently I added an Italian Language blog, then discontinued because of very low traffic and interest. I contributed for seven years to a public forum (FluTrackers.com) in the midst of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014, I left the site to continue alone my data tracking job.