mRNA and miRNA profiling of Zika virus-infected human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells identifies miR-142-5p as an antiviral factor

Rak Kyun Seong, Jae Kyung Lee, Geum Joon Cho, Mukesh Kumar, Ok Sarah Shin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    25 Citations (Scopus)


    Zika virus (ZIKV) infection during pregnancy is associated with congenital brain abnormalities, a finding that highlights the urgent need to understand mother-to-fetus transmission mechanisms. Human umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells (hUCMSCs) are susceptible to ZIKV infection but the underlying mechanisms of viral susceptibility remain largely unexplored. In this study, we have characterized and compared host mRNA and miRNA expression profiles in hUCMSCs after infection with two lineages of ZIKV, African (MR766) and Asian (PRVABC59). RNA sequencing analysis identified differentially expressed genes involved in anti-viral immunity and mitochondrial dynamics following ZIKV infection. In particular, ZIKV-infected hUCMSCs displayed mitochondrial elongation and the treatment of hUCMSCs with mitochondrial fission inhibitor led to a dose-dependent increase in ZIKV gene expression and decrease in anti-viral signalling pathways. Moreover, small RNA sequencing analysis identified several significantly up- or down-regulated microRNAs. Interestingly, miR-142-5p was significantly downregulated upon ZIKV infection, whereas cellular targets of miR-142-5p, IL6ST and ITGAV, were upregulated. Overexpression of miR-142-5p resulted in the suppression of ZIKV replication. Furthermore, blocking ITGAV expression resulted in a significant suppression of ZIKV binding to cells, suggesting a potential role of ITGAV in ZIKV entry. In conclusion, these results demonstrate both common and specific host responses to African and Asian ZIKV lineages and indicate miR-142-5p as a key regulator of ZIKV replication in the umbilical cords.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2061-2075
    Number of pages15
    JournalEmerging Microbes and Infections
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2020 Jan 1

    Bibliographical note

    Publisher Copyright:
    © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group, on behalf of Shanghai Shangyixun Cultural Communication Co., Ltd.


    • RNA-seq
    • ZIKV
    • hUCMSCs
    • innate immunity
    • miRNA
    • small RNA-seq

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Parasitology
    • Epidemiology
    • Microbiology
    • Immunology
    • Drug Discovery
    • Virology
    • Infectious Diseases


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