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LvRas and LvRap are both important for WSSV replication in Litopenaeus vannamei

Tseng, Yi-Ting, Kumar, Ramya, Wang, Han-Ching
Fish & shellfish immunology 2019 v.88 pp. 150-160
Litopenaeus vannamei, White spot syndrome virus, double-stranded RNA, fish, genes, guanosinetriphosphatase, hemocytes, humans, immunology, oncogene proteins, pathogens, shrimp, virus replication
The white Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV) is a pathogen that causes huge economic losses in the shrimp-farming industry globally. At the WSSV genome replication stage (12 hpi) in WSSV-infected shrimp hemocytes, activation of the PI3K-Akt-mTOR pathway triggers metabolic changes that resemble the Warburg effect. In shrimp, the upstream regulators of this pathway are still unknown, and in the present study, we isolate, characterize and investigate two candidate factors, i.e. the shrimp Ras GTPase isoforms LvRas and LvRap, both of which are upregulated after WSSV infection. dsRNA silencing experiments show that virus replication is significantly reduced when expression of either of these genes is suppressed. Pretreatment with the Ras inhibitor Salirasib further suggests that LvRas, which is a homolog to a commonly overexpressed human oncoprotein, may be involved in regulating the WSSV-induced Warburg effect. We also show that while both the PI3K-Akt-mTOR and Raf-MEK-ERK pathways are activated by WSSV infection, LvRas appears to be involved only in the regulation of the mTOR pathway.