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Tupanvirus-infected amoebas are induced to aggregate with uninfected cells promoting viral dissemination

Abstract : The discovery of giant viruses in the last years has fascinated the scientific community due to virus particles size and genome complexity. Among such fantastic discoveries, we have recently described tupanviruses, which particles present a long tail, and has a genome that contains the most complete set of translation-related genes ever reported in the known virosphere. Here we describe a new kind of virus-host interaction involving tupanvirus. We observed that tupanvirus-infected amoebas were induced to aggregate with uninfected cells, promoting viral dissemination and forming giant host cell bunches. Even after mechanical breakdown of bunches, amoebas reaggregated within a few minutes. This remarkable interaction between infected and uninfected cells seems to be promoted by the expression of a mannose receptor gene. Our investigations demonstrate that the pre-treatment of amoebas with free mannose inhibits the formation of bunches, in a concentration-dependent manner, suggesting that amoebal-bunch formation correlates with mannose receptor gene expression. Finally, our data suggest that bunch-forming cells are able to interact with uninfected cells promoting the dissemination and increase of tupanvirus progeny. The recent discovery of tupanvirus, one of the largest and most complex viruses isolated to date, has reinforced the structural and genomic complexity of the giant viruses 1. Tupanviruses have been isolated from soda lakes, known as an extreme aquatic environments, and from ocean sediments collected at a depth of 3000 meters (m) 1,2. Phylogenetic analyses have shown the clustering of the tupanvirus with members of the family Mimiviridae. However, there are many peculiarities that make the tupanviruses unique entities in the known virosphere. Since its first observation, tupanviruses showed remarkable morphological characteristics; it has optically visible particles that average about 1.2 µm in size and can reach lengths up to 2.3 µm 1. Tupanvirus has the largest host range described so far among amoebal-infecting giant viruses and can causes a shutdown of host rRNA that is likely related to host-nucleolus degradation 1,3-9. The tupanviruses replication cycle is similar to those for other mim-iviruses, in which viral particles attach to the host-cell surface and enter through phagocytosis. The viral inner membrane then fuses with the phagosome membrane, releasing the genome. A viral factory (VF) is formed, where particle morphogenesis occurs; the cycle ends with cell lysis and the release of progeny viruses 1,10. The study of the tupanvirus genome further aroused the interest of virologists, not only due of its large size (~1.5 Mb), but also because these viruses show the largest translational apparatus described. It is composed of up to 70 tRNA, 20 aminoacyl-tRNA synthetases (aaRS), 11 factors associated with translation, and factors related to tRNA/mRNA maturation and ribosome protein modification 1. In addition to the robust translation apparatus, tupanvirus also contains a gene encoding mannose-specific lectin, also called mannose-binding protein (MBP) 1. Interestingly, previous studies revealed that Acanthamoeba castellanii expresses an MBP and that free-mannose can inhibit the adhesion of A. castellanii to surfaces, suggesting that the MBP plays a role in the pathogenesis of Acanthamoeba infection 11-16 .
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Submitted on : Tuesday, December 10, 2019 - 10:19:46 AM
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Graziele Oliveira, Lorena Silva, Thiago Leão, Said Mougari, Flávio Guimarães da Fonseca, et al.. Tupanvirus-infected amoebas are induced to aggregate with uninfected cells promoting viral dissemination. Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, 2019, 9 (1), ⟨10.1038/s41598-018-36552-4⟩. ⟨hal-02262593⟩

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