Porcine Circovirus 2 Deploys PERK Pathway and GRP78 for Its Enhanced Replication in PK-15 Cells.Viruses. 2016 Feb 20; 8(2)V
Porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) infection induces autophagy and apoptosis. These cellular responses could be connected with endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. It remains unknown if PCV2 induces ER stress and if autophagy or apoptosis is primary to PCV2 infection or secondary responses following ER stress. Here, we demonstrate that PCV2 triggered unfolded protein response (UPR) in PK-15 cells by activating the PERK/eIF2α pathway without concomitant activation of IRE1 or ATF6. Since ATF4 and CHOP were induced later than PERK/eIF2α, it is clear that persistent PCV2 infection could lead to selective activation of PERK via the PERK-eIF2α-ATF4-CHOP axis. Therefore, PERK activation could be part of the pro-apoptotic signaling via induced expression of CHOP by PCV2. Since PERK inhibition by GSK2606414 or RNA silencing or suppression of eIF2α dephosphorylation by salubrinal limited viral replication, we suppose that PCV2 deploys UPR to enhance its replication. Over-expression of GRP78 or treatment with tauroursodeoxycholic acid could enhance viral capsid expression and/or viral titers, indicating that these chaperones, endogenous or exogenous, could help correct folding of viral proteins. Our findings provide the first evidence that ER stress plays a role in the pathogenesis of PCV2 infection probably as part of autophagic and apoptotic responses.