Coxsackievirus consumes calcium

Coxsackievirus-infected cells Enteroviruses are associated with a number of diverse syndromes such as myocarditis, febrile illness, and are the main causative agents of aseptic meningitis. No effective therapeutics exist to combat non-poliovirus enterovirus infections. A better understanding of the mechanisms by which these viruses infect host cells could lead to the design of effective therapeutic interventions. This study found that intracellular calcium stores in polarized endothelial monolayers are depleted upon exposure to coxsackievirus B (CVB) and that this release is mediated by viral attachment to its receptor decay-accelerating factor. It also discovered that the calcium release requires the activation of signaling molecules involved in calcium signaling such as Src tyrosine kinases, phospholipase C, and the inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor isoform 3 on the ER membrane. A calcium-activated cystein protease, calpain-2, was activated and necessary for proper viral trafficking inside the cell. Interestingly, this signaling cascade was critical for CVB internalization into the endothelium, but was not involved in CVB entry into the epithelium. This is an important advance in our understanding of how enteroviruses hijack host endothelial cell signaling mechanisms in order to facilitate their entry and eventual spread.

Release of Intracellular Calcium Stores Facilitates Coxsackievirus Entry into Polarized Endothelial Cells. (2010) PLoS Pathog 6(10): e1001135. doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1001135
Group B coxsackieviruses (CVB) are associated with viral-induced heart disease and are among the leading causes of aseptic meningitis worldwide. Here we show that CVB entry into polarized brain microvasculature and aortic endothelial cells triggers a depletion of intracellular calcium stores initiated through viral attachment to the apical attachment factor decay-accelerating factor. Calcium release was dependent upon a signaling cascade that required the activity of the Src family of tyrosine kinases, phospholipase C, and the inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor isoform 3. CVB-mediated calcium release was required for the activation of calpain-2, a calcium-dependent cysteine protease, which controlled the vesicular trafficking of internalized CVB particles. These data point to a specific role for calcium signaling in CVB entry into polarized endothelial monolayers and highlight the unique signaling mechanisms used by these viruses to cross endothelial barriers.


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