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Faster replication and higher expression levels of viral glycoproteins give the vesicular stomatitis virus/measles virus hybrid VSV-FH a growth advantage over measles virus

Faster replication and higher expression levels of viral glycoproteins give the vesicular stomatitis virus/measles virus hybrid VSV-FH a growth advantage over measles virus

Journal of Virology 88(15): 8332-8339

ISSN/ISBN: 0022-538X

PMID: 24829351

DOI: 10.1128/jvi.03823-13

VSV-FH is a hybrid vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) with a deletion of its G glycoprotein and encoding the measles virus (MV) fusion (F) and hemagglutinin (H) envelope glycoproteins. VSV-FH infects cells expressing MV receptors and is fusogenic and effective against myeloma xenografts in mice. We evaluated the fusogenic activities of MV and VSV-FH in relationship to the density of receptor on the target cell surface and the kinetics of F and H expression in infected cells. Using a panel of cells expressing increasing numbers of the MV receptor CD46, we evaluated syncytium size in MV- or VSV-FH-infected cells. VSV-FH is not fusogenic at low CD46 density but requires less CD46 for syncytium formation than MV. The size of each syncytium is larger in VSV-FH-infected cells at a specific CD46 density. While syncytium size reached a plateau and did not increase further in MV-infected CHO cells expressing ≥4,620 CD46 copies/cell, there was a corresponding increase in syncytium size with increases in CD46 levels in VSV-FH-infected CD46-expressing CHO (CHO-CD46) cells. Further analysis in VSV-FH-infected cell lines shows earlier and higher expression of F and H mRNAs and protein. However, VSV-FH cytotoxic activity was reduced by pretreatment of the cells with type I interferon. In contrast, the cytopathic effects are not affected in MV-infected cells. In summary, VSV-FH has significant advantages over MV as an oncolytic virus due to its higher viral yield, faster replication kinetics, and larger fusogenic capabilities but should be used in cancer types with defective interferon signaling pathways. We studied the cytotoxic activity of a vesicular stomatitis/measles hybrid virus (VSV-FH), which is superior to that of measles virus (MV), in different cancer cell lines. We determined that viral RNA and protein were produced faster and in higher quantities in VSV-FH-infected cells. This resulted in the formation of larger syncytia, higher production of infectious particles, and a more potent cytopathic effect in permissive cells. Importantly, VSV-FH, similar to MV, can discriminate between low- and high-expressing CD46 cells, a phenotype important for cancer therapy as the virus will be able to preferentially infect cancer cells that overexpress CD46 over low-CD46-expressing normal cells.

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Accession: 053212367

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