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Cell Microbiol. 2007 Oct;9(10):2358-71.

Coxsackievirus B3 activates nuclear factor kappa B transcription factor via a phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase/protein kinase B-dependent pathway to improve host cell viability.

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  • 1The James Hogg iCAPTURE Centre for Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Research, Providence Health Care Research Institute/St. Paul's Hospital, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.


Coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3) is the most common viral infectant of heart muscle. CVB3 directly injures cardiomyocytes. We have previously reported on a regulatory role for the phosphatidylinositol-3 kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (Akt) pathway during CVB3 infection. Yet, the mechanism underlying this regulatory role has not been elucidated. The PI3K/Akt pathway is involved in various cellular processes and exerts its function through the activation of several downstream effectors. Among them, nuclear factor kappa B (NFkappaB) transcription factor is involved in inflammation, survival and apoptosis. In this study, we investigated the role of NFkappaB as a potential downstream mediator of signals through the PI3K/Akt cascade, in regulating CVB3-induced cellular injury. We report that CVB3 infection induces the translocation of NFkappaB into the nucleus of infected cells. Inhibition of the PI3K/Akt pathway markedly decreases virus-induced NFkappaB activation. Further, NFkappaB inhibition significantly suppresses host viability, suggesting a pro-survival role for NFkappaB. Short-term treatment of cells with tumour necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha), a potent activator of NFkappaB, promotes host cell viability without affecting virus replication. However, a prolonged treatment has a detrimental effect on cells, indicating the existence of a delicate balance between the anti- and pro-apoptotic roles of TNF-alpha in the setting of CVB3 infection.

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