Human apolipoprotein A-I is associated with dengue virus and enhances virus infection through SR-BI

PLoS One. 2013 Jul 24;8(7):e70390. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0070390. Print 2013.


Diseases caused by dengue virus (DV) infection vary in severity, with symptoms ranging from mild fever to life threatening dengue hemorrhage fever (DHF) and dengue shock syndrome (DSS). Clinical studies have shown that significant decrease in the level of lipoproteins is correlated with severe illness in DHF/DSS patients. Available evidence also indicates that lipoproteins including high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL) are able to facilitate cell entry of HCV or other flaviviruses via corresponding lipoprotein receptors. In this study, we found that pre-incubation of DV with human serum leads to an enhanced DV infectivity in various types of cells. Such enhancement could be due to interactions between serum components and DV particles. Through co-immunoprecipitation we revealed that apolipoprotein A-I (ApoA-I), the major protein component in HDL, is associated with DV particles and is able to promote DV infection. Based on that observation, we further found that siRNA knockdown of the scavenger receptor class B type I (SR-BI), the cell receptor of ApoA-I, abolished the activity of ApoA-I in enhancement of DV infection. This suggests that ApoA-I bridges DV particles and cell receptor SR-BI and facilitates entry of DV into cells. FACS analysis of cell surface dengue antigen after virus absorption further confirmed that ApoA-I enhances DV infection via promoting initial attachment of the virus to cells. These findings illustrate a novel entry route of DV into cells, which may provide insights into the functional importance of lipoproteins in dengue pathogenesis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apolipoprotein A-I / metabolism*
  • Blotting, Western
  • CD36 Antigens / metabolism*
  • Cell Line
  • Dengue / metabolism*
  • Dengue Virus / pathogenicity*
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect
  • Hep G2 Cells
  • Humans
  • Immunoprecipitation
  • U937 Cells
  • Ultracentrifugation
  • Vero Cells


  • Apolipoprotein A-I
  • CD36 Antigens