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Viruses 2018, 10(7), 361;

The 125th Lys and 145th Thr Amino Acids in the GTPase Domain of Goose Mx Confer Its Antiviral Activity against the Tembusu Virus

1,2,3,†,* , 1,†
Institute of Preventive Veterinary Medicine, Sichuan Agricultural University, No. 211 Huimin Road, Wenjiang District, Chengdu 611130, Sichuan, China
Research Center of Avian Disease, College of Veterinary Medicine, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu 611130, Sichuan, China
Key Laboratory of Animal Disease and Human Health of Sichuan Province, Sichuan Agricultural University, Chengdu 611130, Sichuan, China
These authors contributed equally as co-first authors of this work.
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 7 June 2018 / Revised: 29 June 2018 / Accepted: 4 July 2018 / Published: 6 July 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Cytokine Responses in Viral Infections)
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The Tembusu virus (TMUV) is an avian pathogenic flavivirus that causes a highly contagious disease and catastrophic losses to the poultry industry. The myxovirus resistance protein (Mx) of innate immune effectors is a key antiviral “workhorse” of the interferon (IFN) system. Although mammalian Mx resistance against myxovirus and retrovirus was witnessed for decades, whether or not bird Mx has anti-flavivirus activity remains unknown. In this study, we found that the transcription of goose Mx (goMx) was obviously driven by TMUV infection, both in vivo and in vitro, and that the titers and copies of TMUV were significantly reduced by goMx overexpression. In both primary (goose embryo fibroblasts, GEFs) and passaged cells (baby hamster kidney cells, BHK21, and human fetal kidney cells, HEK 293T), it was shown that goMx was mainly located in the cytoplasm, and sporadically distributed in the nucleus. The intracellular localization of this protein is attributed to the predicted bipartite nuclear localization signal (NLS; 30 residues: the 441st–471st amino acids of goMx). Intuitively, it seems that the cells with a higher level of goMx expression tend to have lower TMUV loads in the cytoplasm, as determined by an immunofluorescence assay. To further explore the antiviral determinants, a panel of variants was constructed. Two amino acids at the 125th (Lys) and 145th (Thr) positions in GTP-binding elements, not in the L4 loop (40 residues: the 532nd–572nd amino acids of goMx), were vital for the antiviral function of goMx against TMUV in vitro. These findings will contribute to our understanding of the functional significance of the antiviral system in aquatic birds, and the development of goMx could be a valuable therapeutic agent against TMUV. View Full-Text
Keywords: TMUV; Mx; antiviral activity; GTP-binding elements; L4 loop TMUV; Mx; antiviral activity; GTP-binding elements; L4 loop

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Chen, S.; Zeng, M.; Liu, P.; Yang, C.; Wang, M.; Jia, R.; Zhu, D.; Liu, M.; Yang, Q.; Wu, Y.; Zhao, X.; Cheng, A. The 125th Lys and 145th Thr Amino Acids in the GTPase Domain of Goose Mx Confer Its Antiviral Activity against the Tembusu Virus. Viruses 2018, 10, 361.

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