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Logo of bmcvetresBioMed Centralsearchsubmit a manuscriptregisterthis articleBMC Veterinary Research
 
BMC Vet Res. 2012; 8: 114.
Published online 2012 July 18. doi:  10.1186/1746-6148-8-114
PMCID: PMC3439706

Orf virus interferes with MHC class I surface expression by targeting vesicular transport and Golgi

Abstract

Background

The Orf virus (ORFV), a zoonotic Parapoxvirus, causes pustular skin lesions in small ruminants (goat and sheep). Intriguingly, ORFV can repeatedly infect its host, despite the induction of a specific immunity. These immune modulating and immune evading properties are still unexplained.

Results

Here, we describe that ORFV infection of permissive cells impairs the intracellular transport of MHC class I molecules (MHC I) as a result of structural disruption and fragmentation of the Golgi apparatus. Depending on the duration of infection, we observed a pronounced co-localization of MHC I and COP-I vesicular structures as well as a reduction of MHC I surface expression of up to 50%. These subversion processes are associated with early ORFV gene expression and are accompanied by disturbed carbohydrate trimming of post-ER MHC I. The MHC I population remaining on the cell surface shows an extended half-life, an effect that might be partially controlled also by late ORFV genes.

Conclusions

The presented data demonstrate that ORFV down-regulates MHC I surface expression in infected cells by targeting the late vesicular export machinery and the structure and function of the Golgi apparatus, which might aid to escape cellular immune recognition.

Keywords: Orf virus, Parapoxvirus, MHC class I, Subversion, Immunomodulation, Golgi apparatus

Articles from BMC Veterinary Research are provided here courtesy of BioMed Central