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The molecule of DC-SIGN captures enterovirus 71 and confers dendritic cell-mediated viral trans-infection

Xiao-Xin Ren12, Li Ma12, Qing-Wei Liu2, Chuan Li2, Zhong Huang2, Li Wu34, Si-Dong Xiong1, Jian-Hua Wang2 and Hai-Bo Wang2*

Author Affiliations

1 Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Infection and Immunity, Institutes of Biology & Medical Sciences, Soochow University, Suzhou, China

2 Key Laboratory of Molecular Virology & Immunology, Institute Pasteur of Shanghai, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai, China

3 Center for Retrovirus Research, Department of Veterinary Biosciences, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA

4 Department of Microbial Infection and Immunity, The Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, USA

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Virology Journal 2014, 11:47  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-11-47

Published: 12 March 2014



Enterovirus 71 (EV71) is the main causative agent of hand, foot and mouth disease that occurs in young children. Neither antiviral agents nor vaccines are available for efficiently combating viral infection. Study of EV71–host interplay is important for understanding viral infection and developing strategies for prevention and therapy. Here the interactions of EV71 with human dendritic cells were analyzed.


EV71 capture, endocytosis, infection, and degradation in monocyte-derived dendritic cells (MDDCs) were detected by Flow cytometry or real-time (RT-) PCR, and MDDCs-mediated EV71 trans-infection of RD cells was determined via coculture system. Cell morphology or viability was monitored with microscopy or flow cytometry. SiRNA interference was used to knock down gene expression.


MDDCs can bind EV71, but these loaded-EV71 particles in MDDCs underwent a rapid degradation in the absence of efficient replication; once the captured EV71 encountered susceptible cells, MDDCs efficiently transferred surface-bound viruses to target cells. The molecule of DC-SIGN (DC-specific intercellular adhesion molecule-3 grabbing nonintegrin) mediated viral binding and transfer, because interference of DC-SIGN expression with specific siRNAs reduced EV71 binding and impaired MDDC-mediated viral trans-infection, and exogenous expression of DC-SIGN molecule on Raji cell initiated viral binding and subsequent transmission.


MDDCs could bind efficiently EV71 viruses through viral binding to DC-SIGN molecule, and these captured-viruses could be transferred to susceptible cells for robust infection. The novel finding of DC-mediated EV71 dissemination might facilitate elucidation of EV71 primary infection and benefit searching for new clues for preventing viruses from initial infection.

Enterovirus 71; Dendritic cells; Viral trans-infection