SNX11 Identified as an Essential #Host Factor for #SFTS Virus #Infection by #CRISPR Knockout Screening (Virol Sin., abstract)

[Source: Virologica Sinica, full page: (LINK). Abstract, edited.]

SNX11 Identified as an Essential Host Factor for SFTS Virus Infection by CRISPR Knockout Screening

Authors: Tiezhu Liu, Jiajia Li, Yang Liu, Yuanyuan Qu, Aqian Li, Chuan Li, Quanfu Zhang,Wei Wu, Jiandong Li, Yan Liu, Dexin Li, Shiwen Wang, Mifang Liang

Research Article / First Online: 18 June 2019



Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus (SFTSV) is a highly pathogenic tick-borne bunyavirus that causes lethal infectious disease and severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome (SFTS) in humans. The molecular mechanisms and host cellular factors required for SFTSV infection remain uncharacterized. Using a genome-wide CRISPR-based screening strategy, we identified a host cellular protein, sorting nexin 11 (SNX11) which is involved in the intracellular endosomal trafficking pathway, as an essential cell factor for SFTSV infection. An SNX11-KO HeLa cell line was established, and SFTSV replication was significantly reduced. The glycoproteins of SFTSV were detected and remained in later endosomal compartments but were not detectable in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) or Golgi apparatus. pH values in the endosomal compartments of the SNX11-KO cells increased compared with the pH of normal HeLa cells, and lysosomal-associated membrane protein 1 (LAMP1) expression was significantly elevated in the SNX11-KO cells. Overall, these results indicated that penetration of SFTSV from the endolysosomes into the cytoplasm of host cells was blocked in the cells lacking SNX11. Our study for the first time provides insight into the important role of the SNX11 as an essential host factor in the intracellular trafficking and penetrating process of SFTSV infection via potential regulation of viral protein sorting, membrane fusion, and other endocytic machinery.

Keywords: CRISPR – screen – Severe fever with thrombocytopenia syndrome virus (SFTSV) – Host factor – Sorting nexin 11 (SNX11)

Electronic supplementary material

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This work was supported by the National Key Project for Infectious Disease from the Ministry of Science and Technology (Grant No. 2018ZX10711-001).

Author Contributions

TL performed the experiments and wrote the paper; Jiajia Li, YL, and YQ performed the experiments; AL, QZ, CL, WW, YL, and Jiandong Li contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools. Jiajia Li, TL, ML, YL, Jiandong Li, and DL analyzed and discussed the data. ML and SW designed the project and edited the manuscript. All authors read and approved the final manuscript.


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Animal and Human Rights Statement

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

Keywords: SFTS virus; Bunyavirus; CRISPR; Viral pathogenesis.


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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 ( in the midst of the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014, I left the site to continue alone my data tracking job.