Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 30909570
Viruses 2019 03;11(3)
Lassa virus (LASV) and Mopeia virus (MOPV) are two closely related Old-World mammarenaviruses. LASV causes severe hemorrhagic fever with high mortality in humans, whereas no case of MOPV infection has been reported. Comparing MOPV and LASV is a powerful strategy to unravel pathogenic mechanisms that occur during the course of pathogenic arenavirus infection. We used a yeast two-hybrid approach to identify cell partners of MOPV and LASV Z matrix protein in which two autophagy adaptors were identified, NDP52 and TAX1BP1. Autophagy has emerged as an important cellular defense mechanism against viral infections but its role during arenavirus infection has not been shown. Here, we demonstrate that autophagy is transiently induced by MOPV, but not LASV, in infected cells two days after infection. Impairment of the early steps of autophagy significantly decreased the production of MOPV and LASV infectious particles, whereas a blockade of the degradative steps impaired only MOPV infectious particle production. Our study provides insights into the role played by autophagy during MOPV and LASV infection and suggests that this process could partially explain their different pathogenicity.