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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Role of phosphatidylserine exposure and sugar chain desialylation at the surface of influenza virus-infected cells in efficient phagocytosis by macrophages.

HeLa cells infected with influenza A virus undergo typical caspase-dependent apoptosis and are efficiently phagocytosed by mouse peritoneal macrophages in a manner mediated by the membrane phospholipid phosphatidylserine, which is translocated to the surface of virus-infected cells during apoptosis. However, the extent of phagocytosis is not always parallel with the level of phosphatidylserine externalization. Here we examined the involvement of influenza virus neuraminidase ( NA) in efficient phagocytosis of virus-infected cells. HeLa cells infected with an influenza virus strain expressing temperature-sensitive NA underwent apoptosis and produced viral proteins, including the defective NA, at a non-permissive temperature to almost the same extent as cells infected with the wild-type virus. The cells were, however, phagocytosed by macrophages with reduced efficiency. In addition, phagocytosis of cells infected with the wild-type virus was severely inhibited when the cells had been maintained in the presence of the NA inhibitor zanamivir. On the other hand, the binding of sialic acid-recognizing lectins to the cell surface declined after infection with the wild-type virus. The decrease in the extent of lectin binding was greatly attenuated when cells were infected with the mutant virus or when wild-type virus-infected cells were maintained in the presence of zanamivir. These results indicate that sugar chains are desialylated by NA at the surface of virus-infected cells. We conclude that the presence of both phosphatidylserine and asialoglycomoieties on the cell surface is required for efficient phagocytosis of influenza virus-infected cells by macrophages.[1]


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