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Selective irreversible inactivation of replicating mengovirus by nucleoside analogues: a new form of viral interference


, : Selective irreversible inactivation of replicating mengovirus by nucleoside analogues: a new form of viral interference. Journal of Virology 73(8): 6444-6452

We describe the selective irreversible inhibition of mengovirus growth in cultured cells by a combination of two pyrrolopyrimidine nucleoside analogues, 5-bromotubercidin (BrTu) and tubercidin (Tu). At a concentration of 5 microgram/ml, BrTu reversibly blocked the synthesis of cellular mRNA and rRNA but did not inhibit either mengovirus RNA synthesis or multiplication. BrTu is a potent inhibitor of adenosine kinase, and low concentrations of BrTu (e.g., 0.5 microgram/ml), which did not by themselves inhibit cell growth, blocked phosphorylation of Tu and thus protected uninfected cells against irreversible cytotoxicity resulting from Tu incorporation into nucleic acids. In contrast, in mengovirus-infected cells, BrTu did not completely inhibit Tu incorporation into mengovirus RNA, allowing the formation of Tu-containing functionally defective polynucleotides that aborted the virus development cycle. This increased incorporation of Tu coupled to mengovirus infection could be attributed either to a reduction in the inhibitory action of BrTu and/or its nucleotide derivatives at the level of nucleoside and nucleotide kinases and/or, perhaps, to an effect upon the nucleoside transport system. The virus life cycle in nucleoside-treated cells progressed to the point of synthesis of negative strands and probably to the production of a few defective new positive strands. Irreversible virus growth arrest was achieved if the nucleoside mixture of BrTu (0.5 to 10 microgram/ml) and Tu (1 to 20 microgram/ml) was added no later than 30 min after virus infection and maintained for periods of 2 to 8 h. The cultures thus "cured" of mengovirus infection could be maintained and transferred for several weeks, during which they neither produced detectable virus nor showed a visible cytopathic effect; however, the infected and cured cells themselves, while metabolically viable, were permanently impaired in RNA synthesis and unable to divide. Although completely resistant to superinfecting picornaviruses, they retained the ability to support the growth of several other viruses (vaccinia virus, reovirus, and vesicular stomatitis virus), showing that cured cells had, in general, retained the metabolic and structural machinery needed for virus production. The resistance of cured cells to superinfection with picornaviruses seemed attributable neither to interferon action nor to destruction or blockade of virus receptors but more likely to the consumption of some host factor(s) involved in the expression of early viral functions during the original infection.

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PMID: 10400738


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