Archives of Virology

, Volume 154, Issue 6, pp 919–928 | Cite as

A clinical isolate of dengue virus and its proteins induce apoptosis in HMEC-1 cells: a possible implication in pathogenesis

  • Melina Vásquez Ochoa
  • Julio García Cordero
  • Benito Gutiérrez Castañeda
  • Leopoldo Santos Argumedo
  • Nicolas Villegas Sepúlveda
  • Leticia Cedillo Barrón
Original Article


Cumulative studies have demonstrated that dengue virus infection results in the induction of apoptosis of certain cells in vitro. Moreover, apoptosis of microvascular endothelial cells in the brain and in the intestinal serosa has been demonstrated postmortem in dengue virus (DENV)-infected patients. In this work, human microvascular endothelial cells (HMEC-1) infected with a DENV-2 clinical isolate, or HMEC-1 cells transfected with its protease sequence (NS3pro) or its complex (NS2BNS3pro) were able to trigger apoptosis after 24 h of infection or transfection. The infected or transfected HMEC-1 cells displayed the distinctive apoptotic hallmarks, which include cytoplasmic shrinkage and plasma membrane blebbing. In addition, the transfected HMEC-1 cells showed biochemical changes such as exposure of phosphatidylserine on the outer leaflet of the plasma membrane, TUNEL positivity, caspase 3 activation and cleaved PARP, a central regulator of apoptosis. These findings suggest the role of such proteins from the clinical isolate in the induction of apoptosis.


Viral Protein Dengue Virus Microvascular Endothelial Cell DENV Infection Human Microvascular Endothelial Cell 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We are thankful to Fernando Medina for his assistance in C6/36 culture, and Julio García Cordero (185263) and Melina Vasquez Ochoa (158086), who received predoctoral fellowships from CONACYT. This work was supported by CONACYT (grant no. 40199) and by DENFRAME Consortium INCO 517711.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melina Vásquez Ochoa
    • 1
  • Julio García Cordero
    • 1
  • Benito Gutiérrez Castañeda
    • 2
  • Leopoldo Santos Argumedo
    • 1
  • Nicolas Villegas Sepúlveda
    • 1
  • Leticia Cedillo Barrón
    • 1
  1. 1.Departamento de Biomedicina MolecularCentro de Investigación y de Estudios AvanzadosMexico DFMexico
  2. 2.Laboratorio de Inmunología UMF de la FES IztacalaUniversidad Autónoma de MéxicoTlanepantlaMexico

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