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Vet Res . Amino acid mutations PB1-V719M and PA-N444D combined with PB2-627K contribute to the pathogenicity of H7N9 in mice

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  • Vet Res . Amino acid mutations PB1-V719M and PA-N444D combined with PB2-627K contribute to the pathogenicity of H7N9 in mice

    Vet Res


    . 2024 Jul 5;55(1):86.
    doi: 10.1186/s13567-024-01342-6. Amino acid mutations PB1-V719M and PA-N444D combined with PB2-627K contribute to the pathogenicity of H7N9 in mice

    Xiaoquan Wang # 1 2 3 4 , Xin-En Tang # 1 , Huafen Zheng 1 , Ruyi Gao 1 3 4 , Xiaolong Lu 1 3 4 , Wenhao Yang 1 3 4 , Le Zhou 5 , Yu Chen 1 3 4 , Min Gu 1 3 4 , Jiao Hu 1 3 4 , Xiaowen Liu 1 3 4 , Shunlin Hu 1 3 4 , Kaituo Liu 6 7 8 9 , Xiufan Liu 10 11 12 13



    AffiliationsAbstract

    H7N9 subtype avian influenza viruses (AIVs) cause 1567 human infections and have high mortality, posing a significant threat to public health. Previously, we reported that two avian-derived H7N9 isolates (A/chicken/Eastern China/JTC4/2013 and A/chicken/Eastern China/JTC11/2013) exhibit different pathogenicities in mice. To understand the genetic basis for the differences in virulence, we constructed a series of mutant viruses based on reverse genetics. We found that the PB2-E627K mutation alone was not sufficient to increase the virulence of H7N9 in mice, despite its ability to enhance polymerase activity in mammalian cells. However, combinations with PB1-V719M and/or PA-N444D mutations significantly enhanced H7N9 virulence. Additionally, these combined mutations augmented polymerase activity, thereby intensifying virus replication, inflammatory cytokine expression, and lung injury, ultimately increasing pathogenicity in mice. Overall, this study revealed that virulence in H7N9 is a polygenic trait and identified novel virulence-related residues (PB2-627K combined with PB1-719M and/or PA-444D) in viral ribonucleoprotein (vRNP) complexes. These findings provide new insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying AIV pathogenesis in mammals, with implications for pandemic preparedness and intervention strategies.

    Keywords: H7N9; pathogenicity; vRNP; virulence factors.

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