4 years ago

Dendritic transport of tick-borne flavivirus RNA by neuronal granules affects development of neurological disease [Microbiology]

Dendritic transport of tick-borne flavivirus RNA by neuronal granules affects development of neurological disease [Microbiology]
Kentaro Yoshii, Minato Hirano, Shintaro Kobayashi, Hirofumi Kondo, Memi Muto, Hiroaki Kariwa, Mizuki Sakai

Neurological diseases caused by encephalitic flaviviruses are severe and associated with high levels of mortality. However, little is known about the detailed mechanisms of viral replication and pathogenicity in the brain. Previously, we reported that the genomic RNA of tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV), a member of the genus Flavivirus, is transported and replicated in the dendrites of neurons. In the present study, we analyzed the transport mechanism of the viral genome to dendrites. We identified specific sequences of the 5′ untranslated region of TBEV genomic RNA that act as a cis-acting element for RNA transport. Mutated TBEV with impaired RNA transport in dendrites caused a reduction in neurological symptoms in infected mice. We show that neuronal granules, which regulate the transport and local translation of dendritic mRNAs, are involved in TBEV genomic RNA transport. TBEV genomic RNA bound an RNA-binding protein of neuronal granules and disturbed the transport of dendritic mRNAs. These results demonstrated a neuropathogenic virus hijacking the neuronal granule system for the transport of viral genomic RNA in dendrites, resulting in severe neurological disease.

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