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Virology. 2012 Aug 1;429(2):136-47. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2012.03.022. Epub 2012 May 6.

Autophagy sustains the replication of porcine reproductive and respiratory virus in host cells.

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Key Laboratory of Animal Epidemiology and Zoonosis of Ministry of Agriculture, College of Veterinary Medicine and State Key Laboratory of Agribiotechnology, China Agricultural University, Beijing, People's Republic of China.


In this study, we confirmed the autophagy induced by porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) in permissive cells and investigated the role of autophagy in the replication of PRRSV. We first demonstrated that PRRSV infection significantly results in the increased double-membrane vesicles, the accumulation of LC3 fluorescence puncta, and the raised ratio of LC3-II/β-actin, in MARC-145 cells. Then we discovered that induction of autophagy by rapamycin significantly enhances the viral titers of PRRSV, while inhibition of autophagy by 3-MA and silencing of LC3 gene by siRNA reduces the yield of PRRSV. The results showed functional autolysosomes can be formed after PRRSV infection and the autophagosome-lysosome-fusion inhibitor decreases the virus titers. We also examined the induction of autophagy by PRRSV infection in pulmonary alveolar macrophages. These findings indicate that autophagy induced by PRRSV infection plays a role in sustaining the replication of PRRSV in host cells.

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