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Regulation of Hazara virus growth through apoptosis inhibition by viral nucleoprotein

Yusuke Matsumoto, Takashi Nouchi, Keisuke Ohta, Machiko Nishio
Archives of Virology 2019 April 4
Hazara virus (HAZV) is closely related to Crimean-Congo hemorrhagic fever virus (CCHFV), but differs in that it is non-pathogenic to humans. Since HAZV was isolated for the first time in 1954, the biological characteristics of this virus, particularly its behavior within culture cells, have not been well-studied, despite its importance as a surrogate model for CCHFV. Nucleoprotein (N) is the main component of viral nucleocapsid and is the most abundant virion protein, it is believed to play a pivotal role in the viral lifecycle. Generation of a series of anti-HAZV N monoclonal antibodies has enabled us to directly examine the involvement of this protein on viral growth. Observation of HAZV-infected cells revealed that this infection caused apoptosis, which was further characterized by DNA ladder and elevated caspase-3/7 activity. HAZV titers initially increased in cell culture, but after reaching the peak titer began to rapidly decline. HAZV particles were found to be very unstable in culture medium at 37 °C, and virus particles tend to lose infectivity at that point. HAZV N appears to inhibit apoptosis, thus can potentially support efficient viral propagation.


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