Zika Virus Strains and Dengue Virus Induce Distinct Proteomic Changes in Neural Stem Cells and Neurospheres

Mol Neurobiol. 2022 Jun 22. doi: 10.1007/s12035-022-02922-3. Online ahead of print.


Brain abnormalities and congenital malformations have been linked to the circulating strain of Zika virus (ZIKV) in Brazil since 2016 during the microcephaly outbreak; however, the molecular mechanisms behind several of these alterations and differential viral molecular targets have not been fully elucidated. Here we explore the proteomic alterations induced by ZIKV by comparing the Brazilian (Br ZIKV) and the African (MR766) viral strains, in addition to comparing them to the molecular responses to the Dengue virus type 2 (DENV). Neural stem cells (NSCs) derived from induced pluripotent stem (iPSCs) were cultured both as monolayers and in suspension (resulting in neurospheres), which were then infected with ZIKV (Br ZIKV or ZIKV MR766) or DENV to assess alterations within neural cells. Large-scale proteomic analyses allowed the comparison not only between viral strains but also regarding the two- and three-dimensional cellular models of neural cells derived from iPSCs, and the effects on their interaction. Altered pathways and biological processes were observed related to cell death, cell cycle dysregulation, and neurogenesis. These results reinforce already published data and provide further information regarding the biological alterations induced by ZIKV and DENV in neural cells.

Keywords: Flaviviridae; Microcephaly; Neural cells; Neurodevelopment; iPS.