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

Host modification of Sindbis virus sialic acid content influences alternative complement pathway activation and virus clearance.

Previous studies have shown that Sindbis virus, an enveloped alphavirus of the togavirus group, activates the alternative complement pathway in the absence of detectable antiviral immunoglobulin. The present studies examined the role of the host-determined sialic acid content of Sindbis virus on activation of the alternative complement pathway. Purified Sindbis virus grown in baby hamster kidney (BHK-SV) and in mosquito (MOSQ-SV) cells yielded virus with 10.2 and less than 2.0 nmol sialic acid/ mg viral protein, respectively. Sindbis virus deficient in sialic acid (2.0 nmol sialic/ mg) was also produced by treating the BHK-SV with neuraminidase (NANase-SV). When MOSQ-SV or NANase-SV was incubated in either C4DGPS or C2DHS, each consumed significantly more C3 than did BHK-SV, indicating that the ability of Sindbis virus to activate the alternative pathway is inversely related to its sialic acid content. Studies in vivo showed that virus deficient in sialic acid (MOSQ-SV) was cleared from the blood of mice much more efficiently than was virus rich in sialic acid (BHK-SV), after i.v. inoculation. Furthermore, when animals were depleted of C3 through C9 by cobra venom factor (CoVF) treatment, no differences in the clearance of high and low sialic acid-containing viruses were observed. Thus both the activation in vitro and complement-dependent clearance in vivo are significantly affected by the host-determined sialic acid content of Sindbis virus.[1]


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