Human Cytomegalovirus-Encoded Receptor US28 Is Expressed in Renal Allografts and Facilitates Viral Spreading In Vitro

Lollinga, W. T., de Wit, R. H., Rahbar, A., Vasse, G. F., Davoudi, B., Diepstra, A., Riezebos-Brilman, A., Harmsen, M. C., Hillebrands, J-L., Soderberg-Naucler, C., van Son, W. J., Smit, M. J., Sanders, J-S. & van den Born, J., Mar-2017, In : Transplantation. 101, 3, p. 531-540 10 p.

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  • Human Cytomegalovirus-Encoded Receptor US28 Is Expressed in Renal Allografts and Facilitates Viral Spreading In Vitro

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BACKGROUND: Renal transplantation is the preferred treatment for patients with end-stage renal disease. Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) activation is associated with decreased renal graft function and survival. Human cytomegalovirus encodes several immune modulatory proteins, including the G protein-coupled receptor US28, which scavenges human chemokines and modulates intracellular signaling.

METHODS: Our aim was to identify the expression and localization of US28 in renal allograft biopsies by immunohistochemistry and determine its role in viral spreading in vitro.

RESULTS: Immunohistochemistry revealed US28 in 31 of 34 renal transplant biopsies from HCMV-seropositive donors. Expression was independent of HCMV viremia or IgG serostatus. US28 was predominantly expressed in the cytoplasm of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) and tubular epithelial cells, with a median positivity of 20% and 40%, respectively. Also, US28-positive cells were present within arterial neointima. In contrast to US28, HCMV-encoded immediate early antigen was detected in less than 5% of VSMCs, tubular epithelial cells, interstitial endothelium, interstitial inflammatory infiltrates, and glomerular cells. Primary VSMCs were infected with green fluorescent protein-tagged wild type or US28-deficient HCMV. The viral spreading of US28-deficient HCMV, via culture medium or cell-to-cell transmission, was significantly impeded as shown by green fluorescent protein (ie, infected) cell quantification and quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction. Additionally, the number and size of foci was smaller.

DISCUSSION: In summary, HCMV-encoded US28 was detected in renal allografts from HCMV-positive donors independent of viremia and serostatus. Also, US28 facilitates HCMV spreading in VSMCs in vitro. Because the vasculature is affected in chronic renal transplant dysfunction, US28 may provide a potential target for therapeutic intervention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531-540
Number of pages10
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar-2017



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