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Mosquito-borne Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV) causes serious illness worldwide and is associated with high morbidity and mortality. To identify potential host therapeutic targets, a high-throughput receptor tyrosine kinase small interfering RNA library screening was performed with recombinant JEV particles. Platelet-derived growth factor receptor beta (PDGFRβ) was identified as a hit after two rounds of screening. Knockdown of PDGFRβ blocked JEV infection and transcomplementation of PDGFRβ could partly restore its infectivity. The PDGFRβ inhibitor imatinib, which has been approved for the treatment of malignant metastatic cancer, protected mice against JEV-induced lethality by decreasing the viral load in the brain while abrogating the histopathological changes associated with JEV infection. These findings demonstrated that PDGFRβ is important in viral infection and provided evidence for the potential to develop imatinib as a therapeutic intervention against JEV infection. Copyright © 2021 Zhou et al.

Citation

Minmin Zhou, Shaobo Wang, Jiao Guo, Yang Liu, Junyuan Cao, Xiaohao Lan, Xiaoying Jia, Bo Zhang, Gengfu Xiao, Wei Wang. RNA Interference Screening Reveals Requirement for Platelet-Derived Growth Factor Receptor Beta in Japanese Encephalitis Virus Infection. Antimicrobial agents and chemotherapy. 2021 May 18;65(6)

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PMID: 33753340

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