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Peptide derivatives of platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha inhibit cell-associated spread of human cytomegalovirus

Braun, Berenike, Fischer, Dina, Laib Sampaio, Kerstin, Mezger, Maja, Stöhr, Dagmar, Stanton, Richard James ORCID: and Sinzger, Christian 2021. Peptide derivatives of platelet-derived growth factor receptor alpha inhibit cell-associated spread of human cytomegalovirus. Viruses 13 (9) , 1780. 10.3390/v13091780

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Cell-free human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) can be inhibited by a soluble form of the cellular HCMV-receptor PDGFRα, resembling neutralization by antibodies. The cell-associated growth of recent HCMV isolates, however, is resistant against antibodies. We investigated whether PDGFRα-derivatives can inhibit this transmission mode. A protein containing the extracellular PDGFRα-domain and 40-mer peptides derived therefrom were tested regarding the inhibition of the cell-associated HCMV strain Merlin-pAL1502, hits were validated with recent isolates, and the most effective peptide was modified to increase its potency. The modified peptide was further analyzed regarding its mode of action on the virion level. While full-length PDGFRα failed to inhibit HCMV isolates, three peptides significantly reduced virus growth. A 30-mer version of the lead peptide (GD30) proved even more effective against the cell-free virus, and this effect was HCMV-specific and depended on the viral glycoprotein O. In cell-associated spread, GD30 reduced both the number of transferred particles and their penetration. This effect was reversible after peptide removal, which allowed the synchronized analysis of particle transfer, showing that two virions per hour were transferred to neighboring cells and one virion was sufficient for infection. In conclusion, PDGFRα-derived peptides are novel inhibitors of the cell-associated spread of HCMV and facilitate the investigation of this transmission mode.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Systems Immunity Research Institute (SIURI)
Additional Information: This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// 4.0/
Publisher: MDPI
ISSN: 1999-4915
Funders: MRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 9 September 2021
Date of Acceptance: 1 September 2021
Last Modified: 23 May 2023 19:41

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