Mouse Mx2 protein inhibits hantavirus but not influenza virus replication
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The antiviral potential of Mx2 protein remains unknown, because the Mx2 gene in commonly used strains of laboratory mice is nonfunctional. Our previous study showed that functional Mx2 protein in some feral-origin strains was induced upon interferon treatment, was localized in the cytoplasm, and inhibited vesicular stomatitis virus replication. In the present study, we have demonstrated that the embryonic fibroblastic cells from a feral-origin strain (SPR) expressed 74 kDa Mx2 protein, which prevented the accumulation of viral transcripts and proteins of hantaviruses when the Mx2 gene was constitutively expressed in transfected Vero cells. Furthermore, the cells showed significantly lower titers of the virus than control cells. In contrast, influenza virus replication was not affected by the expression of Mx2 protein in the Vero cells.
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