Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is a major cause of respiratory infections in infants and the elderly, leading to more deaths than influenza each year, but there is no antiviral or efficacious vaccine currently available. Here we examine the role in infection of the host mitochondrial protein p32 (HABP/gC1qR/C1qbp) for the first time. RSV replication as well as infectious virus production was significantly reduced by p32 siRNA knockdown, consistent with an important role for p32 in RSV infection. p32 showed distinct mitochondrial localization throughout RSV infection, but immunostaining and high resolution confocal imaging for p32 as well as MitoTracker Red and cytochrome c, revealed clear changes in mitochondrial organization in RSV infection, with perinuclear mitochondrial compaction and asymmetric distribution at 8 and 18 h post-infection, respectively. The results implicate p32 as a key host factor for RSV virus production, and bring to light the potential importance of mitochondria in RSV infection.
Keywords: Cytochrome c; Mitochondria; Respiratory syncytial virus; p32/HAPB1/gC1qR/C1qbp.
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