Main content area

Mechanisms of Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus Tropism Inferred from Differential Tissue Gene Expression

Zhu, James J., Arzt, Jonathan, Puckette, Michael C., Smoliga, George R., Pacheco, Juan M., Rodriguez, Luis L., Bayry, Jagadeesh
Foot-and-mouth disease virus, animals, bioinformatics, cytokines, extracellular matrix, feet, fibronectins, foot-and-mouth disease, gene expression, gene expression regulation, genes, immune response, interferons, interleukin-1, lesions (animal), mouth, pathogenesis, receptors, tissue distribution, tissue tropism, tropisms, virus replication, viruses
Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) targets specific tissues for primary infection, secondary high-titer replication (e.g. foot and mouth where it causes typical vesicular lesions) and long-term persistence at some primary replication sites. Although integrin αVβ6 receptor has been identified as primary FMDV receptors in animals, their tissue distribution alone fails to explain these highly selective tropism-driven events. Thus, other molecular mechanisms must play roles in determining this tissue specificity. We hypothesized that differences in certain biological activities due to differential gene expression determine FMDV tropism and applied whole genome gene expression profiling to identify genes differentially expressed between FMDV-targeted and non-targeted tissues in terms of supporting primary infection, secondary replication including vesicular lesions, and persistence. Using statistical and bioinformatic tools to analyze the differential gene expression, we identified mechanisms that could explain FMDV tissue tropism based on its association with differential expression of integrin αVβ6 heterodimeric receptor (FMDV receptor), fibronectin (ligand of the receptor), IL-1 cytokines, death receptors and the ligands, and multiple genes in the biological pathways involved in extracellular matrix turnover and interferon signaling found in this study. Our results together with reported findings indicate that differences in (1) FMDV receptor availability and accessibility, (2) type I interferon-inducible immune response, and (3) ability to clear virus infected cells via death receptor signaling play roles in determining FMDV tissue tropism and the additional increase of high extracellular matrix turnover induced by FMDV infection, likely via triggering the signaling of highly expressed IL-1 cytokines, play a key role in the pathogenesis of vesicular lesions.