Zika virus disrupts molecular fingerprinting of human neurospheres

03 Dec, 2017

Authors: Garcez PP, Nascimento JM, de Vasconcelos JM, et al.

Published in: Sci Rep. 2017 Jan 23;7:40780

Abstract Zika virus (ZIKV) has been associated with microcephaly and other brain abnormalities; however, the molecular consequences of ZIKV to human brain development are still not fully understood. Here we describe alterations in human neurospheres derived from induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells infected with the strain of Zika virus that is circulating in Brazil. Combining proteomics and mRNA transcriptional profiling, over 500 proteins and genes associated with the Brazilian ZIKV infection were found to be differentially expressed. These genes and proteins provide an interactome map, which indicates that ZIKV controls the expression of RNA processing bodies, miRNA biogenesis and splicing factors required for self-replication. It also suggests that impairments in the molecular pathways underpinning cell cycle and neuronal differentiation are caused by ZIKV. These results point to biological mechanisms implicated in brain malformations, which are important to further the understanding of ZIKV infection and can be exploited as therapeutic potential targets to mitigate it.