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Role of Heparan Sulfate in Cellular Infection of Integrin-Binding Coxsackievirus A9 and Human Parechovirus 1 Isolates

Pirjo Merilahti1, Eveliina Karelehto1,2, Petri Susi1,3

Department of Virology, University of Turku, Turku, Finland1, Department of Medical microbiology, Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam, the Netherlands2, Biomaterials and Diagnostics Group, Turku University of Applied Sciences, Turku, Finland3

PLOS ONE, January 19, 2016, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0147168

Heparan sulfate/heparin class of proteoglycans (HSPG) have been shown to function in cellular attachment and infection of numerous viruses including picornaviruses. Coxsackievirus A9 (CV-A9) and human parechovirus 1 (HPeV-1) are integrin-binding members in the family Picornaviridae. CV-A9 Griggs and HPeV-1 Harris (prototype) strains have been reported not to bind to heparin, but it was recently shown that some CV-A9 isolates interact with heparin in vitro via VP1 protein with a specific T132R/K mutation. We found that the infectivity of both CV-A9 Griggs and HPeV-1 Harris was reduced by sodium chlorate and heparinase suggestive of HSPG interactions. We analyzed the T132 site in fifty-four (54) CV-A9 clinical isolates and found that only one of them possessed T132/R mutation while the other nine (9) had T132K. We then treated CV-A9 Griggs and HPeV-1 Harris and eight CV-A9 and six HPeV-1 clinical isolates with heparin and protamine. Although infectivity of Griggs strain was slightly reduced (by 25%), heparin treatment did not affect the infectivity of the CV-A9 isolates that do not possess the T132R/K mutation, which is in line with the
previous findings. Some of the HPeV-1 isolates were also affected by heparin treatment, which suggested that there may be a specific heparin binding site in HPeV-1. In contrast, protamine (a specific inhibitor of heparin) completely inhibited the infection of both prototypes and clinical CV-A9 and HPeV-1 isolates. We conclude that T132R/K mutation has a role in heparin binding of CV-A9, but we also show data, which suggest that there are other HSPG binding sites in CV-A9. In all, we suggest that HSPGs play a general role in both CVA9 and HPeV-1 infections.