Institute of Veterinary Medicine, Jiangsu Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Key Laboratory of Veterinary Biological Engineering and Technology, Ministry of Agriculture, National Center for Engineering Research of Veterinary Bio-products, Jiangsu Co-innovation Center for Prevention and Control of Important Animal Infectious Diseases and Zoonoses, Yangzhou, 225009, PR China. Electronic address: [Email]
Duck Tembusu virus (DTMUV) is a newly emerging pathogenic flavivirus that has caused massive economic losses to the duck industry in China. The cellular factors required for DTMUV replication have been poorly studied. The ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS), the major intracellular proteolytic pathway, mediates diverse cellular processes, including endocytosis and signal transduction, which may be involved in the entry of virus. In the present study, we explored the interplay between DTMUV replication and the UPS in BHK-21 cells and found that treatment with proteasome inhibitor (MG132 and lactacystin) significantly decreased the DTMUV progency at the early infection stage. We further revealed that inhibition of the UPS mainly occurs on the level of viral protein expression and RNA transcription. In addition, using specific siRNAs targeting ubiquitin reduces the production of viral progeny. In the presence of MG132 the staining for the envelope protein of DTMUV was dramatically reduced in comparison with the untreated control cells. Overall, our observations reveal an important role of the UPS in multiple steps of the DTMUV infection cycle and identify the UPS as a potential drug target to modulate the impact of DTMUV infection.