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Virology. 1996 Oct 1;224(1):55-62.

Inhibition of puumala and tula hantaviruses in Vero cells by MxA protein.

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Haartman Institute, Department of Virology, University of Helsinki, Finland.


Human MxA protein is a type I Interferon-inducible intracytoplasmic protein, which mediates antiviral actions against a variety of negative-strand RNA viruses including influenza A, measles, and vesicular stomatitis viruses. Recently, it has also been shown that several members of the Bunyaviridae family are inhibited by MxA protein. The hantavirus genus in the Bunyaviridae family includes important human pathogenic viruses, e.g., Puumala (PUUV), Hantaan, and Sin Nombre viruses. Tula virus (TULV) is a new member of the genus, but its pathogenicity in man remains to be determined. As assumed by the similarities in replication strategy. MxA would be a good candidate molecule for antiviral action against these viruses, also. To gain more insight into the MxA action on PUUV, we studied PUUV and TULV replication in stably MxA genetransfected Vero cells. We show that MxA protein has the capacity to inhibit both viral protein and RNA accumulation in virus-infected cells. We also studied PUUV and TULV infection in MxA-transfected U-937 cell clones. In these cell lines both hantaviruses grew poorly, independent of whether the cells were expressing MxA or not Whether cell line-specific differences in the antiviral activity of MxA protein against hantaviruses exist cannot be conclusively determined due to the lack of productive infection of PUUV and TULV in U-937 cells.

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