Exploitation of the Leishmania exosomal pathway by Leishmania RNA virus 1

Abstract : Leishmania are ancient eukaryotes that have retained the exosome pathway through evolution. Leishmania RNA virus 1 (LRV1)-infected Leishmania species are associated with a particularly aggressive mucocutaneous disease triggered in response to the double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) virus. However, it is unclear how LRV1 is exposed to the mammalian host cells. In higher eukaryotes, some viruses are known to utilize the host exosome pathway for their formation and cell-to-cell spread. As a result, exosomes derived from infected cells contain viral material or particles. Herein, we investigated whether LRV1 exploits the Leishmania exosome pathway to reach the extracellular environment. Biochemical and electron microscopy analyses of exosomes derived from LRV1-infected Leishmania revealed that most dsRNA LRV1 co-fractionated with exosomes, and that a portion of viral particles was surrounded by these vesicles. Transfer assays of LRV1-containing exosome preparations showed that a significant amount of parasites were rapidly and transiently infected by LRV1. Remarkably, these freshly infected parasites generated more severe lesions in mice than non-infected ones. Moreover, mice co-infected with parasites and LRV1-containing exosomes also developed a more severe disease. Overall, this work provides evidence that Leishmania exosomes function as viral envelopes, thereby facilitating LRV1 transmission and increasing infectivity in the mammalian host.
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Submitted on : Friday, May 17, 2019 - 8:40:57 PM
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Vanessa Diniz Atayde, Alonso da Silva Lira Filho, Visnu Chaparro, Aude Zimmermann, Caroline Martel, et al.. Exploitation of the Leishmania exosomal pathway by Leishmania RNA virus 1. Nature Microbiology, Nature Publishing Group, 2019, 4 (4), pp.714-723. ⟨10.1038/s41564-018-0352-y⟩. ⟨pasteur-02133243⟩

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