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J Virol. 2013 Aug;87(15):8569-81. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00708-13. Epub 2013 May 29.

Lipid raft- and SRC family kinase-dependent entry of coxsackievirus B into human placental trophoblasts.

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Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.


Maternal-fetal transmission of group B coxsackieviruses (CVB) during pregnancy has been associated with a number of diverse pathological outcomes, including hydrops fetalis, fetal myocarditis, meningoencephalitis, neurodevelopmental delays, congenital skin lesions, miscarriage, and/or stillbirth. Throughout pregnancy, the placenta forms a critical antimicrobial protective barrier at the maternal-fetal interface. Despite the severity of diseases accompanying fetal CVB infections, little is known regarding the strategies used by CVB to gain entry into placental trophoblasts. Here we used both a trophoblast cell line and primary human trophoblasts to demonstrate the mechanism by which CVB gains entry into polarized placental trophoblasts. Our studies revealed that the kinetics of CVB entry into placental trophoblasts are similar to those previously described for polarized intestinal epithelial cells. Likewise, CVB entry into placental trophoblasts requires decay-accelerating factor (DAF) binding and involves relocalization of the virus from the apical surface to intercellular tight junctions. In contrast, we have identified a divergent mechanism for CVB entry into polarized trophoblasts that is clathrin, caveolin-1, and dynamin II independent but requires intact lipid rafts. In addition, we found that members of the Src family of tyrosine kinases were required for CVB entry. Our studies highlight the complexity of viral entry into human placental trophoblasts and may serve as a model for mechanisms used by diverse pathogens to penetrate the placental barrier.

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