Singapore grouper iridovirus-encoded semaphorin homologue (SGIV-sema) contributes to viral replication, cytoskeleton reorganization and inhibition of cellular immune responses

Academic Article


  • Semaphorins are a large, phylogenetically conserved family of proteins that are involved in a wide range of biological processes including axonal steering, organogenesis, neoplastic transformation, as well as immune responses. In this study, a novel semaphorin homologue gene belonging to the Singapore grouper iridovirus (SGIV), ORF155R (termed SGIV-sema), was cloned and characterized. The coding region of SGIV-sema is 1728 bp in length, encoding a predicted protein with 575 aa. SGIV-sema contains a ~370 aa N-terminal Sema domain, a conserved plexin-semaphorin-integrin (PSI) domain, and an immunoglobulin (Ig)-like domain near the C terminus. SGIV-sema is an early gene product during viral infection and predominantly distributed in the cytoplasm with a speckled and clubbed pattern of appearance. Functionally, SGIV-sema could promote viral replication during SGIV infection in vitro, with no effect on the proliferation of host cells. Intriguingly, ectopically expressed SGIV-sema could alter the cytoskeletal structure of fish cells, characterized by a circumferential ring of microtubules near the nucleus and a disrupted microfilament organization. Furthermore, SGIV-sema was able to attenuate the cellular immune response, as demonstrated by decreased expression of inflammation/immune-related genes such as IL-8, IL-15, TNF-α and mediator of IRF3 activation (MITA), in SGIV-sema-expressing cells before and after SGIV infection. Ultimately, our study identified a novel, functional SGIV gene that could regulate cytoskeletal structure, immune responses and facilitate viral replication. © 2014 The Authors.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Yan Y; Cui H; Guo C; Wei J; Huang Y; Li L; Qin Q
  • Start Page

  • 1144
  • End Page

  • 1155
  • Volume

  • 95
  • Issue

  • PART 5