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  • The Small Animal Infectious Disease team, SHVRI, CAAS found that nucleolin plays a key role in RHDV internalization2018-10-26

    Recently, the Small Animal Infectious Disease team, SHVRI, CAAS found that nucleolin (NCL) mediates the internalization of Rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV) through clathrin-dependent endocytosis.The results have been published in PLoS Pathogens. The first author of the paper is Dr. Jie Zhu, the corresponding author is Prof. Guangqing Liu, the chief of Small Animals Infectious Disease Team of SHVRI.

    RHDV is an important member of the Caliciviridae family and a highly lethal pathogen in rabbits. Although the cell receptor of RHDV has been identified, the mechanism underlying RHDV internalization remains unknown. Here, the researchers have demonstrated that NCL efficiently mediates RHDV internalization by interacting with the RHDV capsid protein (VP60). The exact function domains of the interaction between NCL and VP60 were also determined. Note of, these functional domains are highly conserved in all RHDV genotypes. Further, the researchers revealed that NCL was involved in clathrin-dependent endocytosis through interactions with the C-terminal residues of clathrin light chain A. In addition, , the researchers found that the artificial peptide (DVN peptide)  based on the functional domain, which is responsible for RHDV VP60 binding to NCL, is able to inhibit RHDV infection, indicating that the DVN peptide might be a candidate target for the design of antiviral drugs against RHDV infection.
    This study was supported by grants from the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31672572), the Key Project of Agriculture Science and Technology of Shanghai (2016043 ), the Foundation of Shanghai Key Laboratory of Veterinary Biotechnology (klab201712) and the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2016YFD0500108).

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