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ISG15 facilitates cellular antiviral response to dengue and west nile virus infection in vitro

Jianfeng Dai12*, Wen Pan1 and Penghua Wang2

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Biology and Medical Sciences, Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Infection and Immunity, Soochow University, Suzhou 215123 P.R. China

2 Section of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, USA

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Virology Journal 2011, 8:468  doi:10.1186/1743-422X-8-468

Published: 13 October 2011

Abstract

Background

Dengue virus (DENV) and West Nile virus (WNV), close siblings of the Flaviviridae family, are the causative agents of Dengue hemorraghic shock or West Nile meningoencephalitis respectively. Vaccines against these two flaviviruses are currently unavailable. Interferon- Stimulated Gene 15 (ISG15), encoding an ubiquitin-like protein, is significantly induced by type I interferons or viral infections. Its roles in viral infections, however, vary with viruses, being either anti- or pro-viral. The exact roles of ISG15 in DENV and WNV infections remain unknown. In the current study, we evaluated the relevancies of ISG15 to DENV and WNV infection of a mouse macrophage cell line RAW264.7.

Findings

Quantitative PCR showed that mouse Isg15 was dramatically induced in DENV or WNV- infected RAW264.7 cells compared with non-infected cells. Isg15 and two other Jak-Stat related genes, Socs1 and Socs3, were silenced using siRNA mediated RNA interference. The intracellular DENV and WNV loads, as determined by quantitative PCR, were significantly higher in Isg15 silenced cells than control cells. The expression levels of interferon beta 1 (Ifnb1) were increased significantly in Isg15, Socs1 or Socs3 siRNA treated cells. Further investigation indicated that protein modification by ISG15, so called ISGylation, was significantly enhanced in DENV-infected cells compared to that in non-infected cells.

Conclusions

These findings suggest that ISG15 plays an anti-DENV/WNV function via protein ISGylation.

Keywords:
ISG15; Dengue Virus; West Nile Virus; ISGylation