1887

Abstract

Coronaviruses are enveloped RNA viruses that have evolved complex relationships with their host cells, and modulate their lipid composition, lipid synthesis and signalling. Lipid rafts, enriched in sphingolipids, cholesterol and associated proteins, are special plasma membrane microdomains involved in several processes in viral infections. The extraction of cholesterol leads to disorganization of lipid microdomains and to dissociation of proteins bound to lipid rafts. Because cholesterol-rich microdomains appear to be a general feature of the entry mechanism of non-eneveloped viruses and of several coronaviruses, the purpose of this study was to analyse the contribution of lipids to the infectivity of canine coronavirus (CCoV). The CCoV life cycle is closely connected to plasma membrane cholesterol, from cell entry to viral particle production. The methyl-β-cyclodextrin (MβCD) was employed to remove cholesterol and to disrupt the lipid rafts. Cholesterol depletion from the cell membrane resulted in a dose-dependent reduction, but not abolishment, of virus infectivity, and at a concentration of 15 mM, the reduction in the infection rate was about 68 %. MβCD treatment was used to verify if cholesterol in the envelope was required for CCoV infection. This resulted in a dose-dependent inhibitory effect, and at a concentration of 9 mM MβCD, infectivity was reduced by about 73 %. Since viral entry would constitute a target for antiviral strategies, inhibitory molecules interacting with viral and/or cell membranes, or interfering with lipid metabolism, may have strong antiviral potential. It will be interesting in the future to analyse the membrane microdomains in the CCoV envelope.

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2015-02-01
2019-11-22
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