S-phase-dependent enhancement of dengue virus 2 replication in mosquito cells, but not in human cells.


Dengue virus (DEN) is the most prevalent cause of arthropod-borne viral illness in humans. We determined the influence of cellular growth state on DEN type 2 (DEN2) replication in mosquito and human cells, based on the hypothesis that manipulation of cellular growth state will facilitate identification of viral and cellular determinants of productive infection. Comparison of density-arrested and cycling C6/36 Aedes albopictus cells infected with a low-passage DEN2 isolate revealed that cycling cells generated higher virus titers per cell. When C6/36 cells were stalled in S-phase via a thymidine (THY) block, titers of low-passage DEN2 isolates and a high-passage strain, 16681, were increased approximately 30-fold and 10-fold, respectively. Moreover, virus release was earlier in THY-treated cells than in asynchronously cycling cells. Adsorption, entry, genome uncoating, and translation were not responsible for increased titers of virus from S-phase C6/36 cells. In contrast to the 30-fold increase in virus titers, intracellular levels of viral RNA were increased approximately 2-fold, suggesting that the S-phase-responsive step is late in the DEN2 replication cycle. Analysis of viral RNA and protein released from the cells indicated that enhanced DEN2 assembly is largely responsible for increased virus titers produced during S-phase. In contrast to C6/36 cells, DEN2 titers from S-phase human hepatoma cells or primary human fibroblasts were not increased. These results demonstrate a differential response of DEN2 to the mosquito and human cell cycle and provide a framework for detailed studies into the mechanisms mediating virus assembly.

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