Reduced sphingosine kinase 1 activity in dengue virus type-2 infected cells can be mediated by the 3' untranslated region of dengue virus type-2 RNA.
Clarke, Jennifer Narelle
Calvert, Julie K
Pitson, S M
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Sphingosine kinase 1 (SphK1) is a lipid kinase with important roles including regulation of cell survival. We have previously shown reduced SphK1 activity in cells with an established dengue virus type-2 (DENV-2) infection. In this study, we examined the effect of alterations in SphK1 activity on DENV-2 replication and cell death and determined the mechanisms of the reduction in SphK1 activity. Chemical inhibition or overexpression of SphK1 after established DENV-2 infection had no effect on infectious DENV-2 production, although inhibition of SphK1 resulted in enhanced DENV-2-induced cell death. Reduced SphK1 activity was observed in multiple cell types, regardless of the ability of DENV-2 infection to be cytopathic, and was mediated by a post-translational mechanism. Unlike bovine viral diarrhea virus, where SphK1 activity is decreased by the NS3 protein, SphK1 activity was not affected by DENV-2 NS3 but, instead, was reduced by expression of the terminal 396 bases of the 3' UTR of DENV-2 RNA. We have previously shown that eukaryotic elongation factor 1A (eEF1A) is a direct activator of SphK1 and here DENV-2 RNA co-localized and co-precipitated with eEF1A from infected cells. We propose that the reduction in SphK1 activity late in DENV-2-infected cells is a consequence of DENV-2 out-competing SphK1 for eEF1A binding and hijacking cellular eEF1A for its own replication strategy, rather than a specific host or virus-induced change in SphK1 to modulate viral replication. Nonetheless, reduced SphK1 activity may have important consequences for survival or death of the infected cell.