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Expression of the E3L Gene of Vaccinia Virus in Transgenic Mice Decreases Host Resistance to Vaccinia Virus and Leishmania major Infections▿

By Elena Domingo-Gil, Eva Pérez-Jiménez, Iván Ventoso, José L. Nájera and Mariano Esteban


The E3L gene of vaccinia virus (VACV) encodes the E3 protein that in cultured cells inhibits the activation of interferon (IFN)-induced proteins, double-stranded RNA-dependent protein kinase (PKR), 2′-5′-oligoadenylate synthetase/RNase L (2-5A system) and adenosine deaminase (ADAR-1), thus helping the virus to evade host responses. Here, we have characterized the in vivo E3 functions in a murine inducible cell culture system (E3L-TetOFF) and in transgenic mice (TgE3L). Inducible E3 expression in cultured cells conferred on cells resistance to the antiviral action of IFN against different viruses, while expression of the E3L gene in TgE3L mice triggered enhanced sensitivity of the animals to pathogens. Virus infection monitored in TgE3L mice by different inoculation routes (intraperitoneal and tail scarification) showed that transgenic mice became more susceptible to VACV infection than control mice. TgE3L mice were also more susceptible to Leishmania major infection, leading to an increase in parasitemia compared to control mice. The enhanced sensitivity of TgE3L mice to VACV and L. major infections occurred together with alterations in the host immune system, as revealed by decreased T-cell responses to viral antigens in the spleen and lymph nodes and by differences in the levels of specific innate cell populations. These results demonstrate that expression of the E3L gene in transgenic mice partly reverses the resistance of the host to viral and parasitic infections and that these effects are associated with immune alterations

Topics: Pathogenesis and Immunity
Publisher: American Society for Microbiology (ASM)
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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