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J Virol. 2016 Jan 27;90(7):3722-34. doi: 10.1128/JVI.03242-15.

MicroRNA-33a-5p Modulates Japanese Encephalitis Virus Replication by Targeting Eukaryotic Translation Elongation Factor 1A1.

Author information

1
State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, Hubei, People's Republic of China Laboratory of Animal Virology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, Hubei, People's Republic of China The Cooperative Innovation Center for Sustainable Pig Production, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, Hubei, People's Republic of China.
2
State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, Hubei, People's Republic of China Laboratory of Animal Virology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, Hubei, People's Republic of China The Cooperative Innovation Center for Sustainable Pig Production, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, Hubei, People's Republic of China sbcao@mail.hzau.edu.cn.

Abstract

Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) is a typical mosquito-borne flavivirus responsible for acute encephalitis and meningitis in humans. However, the molecular mechanism for JEV pathogenesis is still unclear. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are small noncoding RNAs that act as gene regulators. They are directly or indirectly involved in many cellular functions owing to their ability to target mRNAs for degradation or translational repression. However, how cellular miRNAs are regulated and their functions during JEV infection are largely unknown. In the present study, we found that JEV infection downregulated the expression of endogenous cellular miR-33a-5p. Notably, artificially transfecting with miR-33a-5p mimics led to a significant decrease in viral replication, suggesting that miR-33a-5p acts as a negative regulator of JEV replication. A dual-luciferase reporter assay identified eukaryotic translation elongation factor 1A1 (EEF1A1) as one of the miR-33a-5p target genes. Our study further demonstrated that EEF1A1 can interact with the JEV proteins NS3 and NS5 in replicase complex. Through this interaction, EEF1A1 can stabilize the components of viral replicase complex and thus facilitates viral replication during JEV infection. Taken together, these results suggest that miR-33a-5p is downregulated during JEV infection, which contributes to viral replication by increasing the intracellular level of EEF1A1, an interaction partner of JEV NS3 and NS5. This study provides a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms of JEV pathogenesis.

IMPORTANCE:

MiRNAs are critical regulators of gene expression that utilize sequence complementarity to bind to and modulate the stability or translation efficiency of target mRNAs. Accumulating data suggest that miRNAs regulate a wide variety of molecular mechanisms in the host cells during viral infections. JEV, a neurotropic flavivirus, is one of the major causes of acute encephalitis in humans worldwide. The roles of cellular miRNAs during JEV infections are widely unexplored. The present study explores a novel role of miR-33a-5p as a negative regulator of JEV replication. We found EEF1A1 as a direct target of miR-33a-5p. We also demonstrated that EEF1A1 interacts with and stabilize the components of JEV replicase complex, which positively regulates JEV replication. These findings suggest a new insight into the molecular mechanism of JEV pathogenesis and provide a possible therapeutic entry point for viral encephalitis.

PMID:
26819305
PMCID:
PMC4794666
DOI:
10.1128/JVI.03242-15
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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