1887

Abstract

Recent RNA interference (RNAi) studies have identified many host proteins that modulate virus infection, but small interfering RNA ‘off-target’ effects and the use of transformed cell lines limit their conclusiveness. As murine embryonic stem (mES) cells can be genetically modified and resources exist where many and eventually all known mouse genes are insertionally inactivated, it was reasoned that mES cells would provide a useful alternative to RNAi screens. Beyond allowing investigation of host–pathogen interactions , mES cells have the potential to differentiate into other primary cell types, as well as being used to generate knockout mice for studies. However, mES cells are poorly characterized for virus infection. To investigate whether ES cells can be used to explore host–virus interactions, this study characterized the responses of mES cells following infection by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and influenza A virus. HSV-1 replicated lytically in mES cells, although mES cells were less permissive than most other cell types tested. Influenza virus was able to enter mES cells and express some viral proteins, but the replication cycle was incomplete and no infectious virus was produced. Knockdown of the host protein AHCYL1 in mES cells reduced HSV-1 replication, showing the potential for using mES cells to study host–virus interactions. Transcriptional profiling, however, indicated the lack of an efficient innate immune response in these cells. mES cells may thus be useful to identify host proteins that play a role in virus replication, but they are not suitable to determine factors that are involved in innate host defence.

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2012-10-01
2021-08-06
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