Research Papers:

Mitophagy in TGEV infection counteracts oxidative stress and apoptosis

Liqi Zhu, Chunxiao Mou, Xing Yang, Jian Lin and Qian Yang _

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Oncotarget. 2016; 7:27122-27141. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.8345

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Liqi Zhu1, Chunxiao Mou1, Xing Yang1, Jian Lin2 and Qian Yang1

1 Key Laboratory of Animal Physiology and Biochemistry, Ministry of Agriculture, Nanjing Agricultural University, Nanjing, Jiangsu, People’s Republic of China

2 College of Life Sciences, Nanjing Agricultural University Weigang No.1, Nanjing, Jiangsu, China

Correspondence to:

Qian Yang, email:

Keywords: transmissible gastroenteritis virus, intestinal epithelia cells, mitophagy, ROS, apoptosis

Received: September 17, 2015 Accepted: March 14, 2016 Published: March 24, 2016


The intestinal epithelial cells contain a large number of mitochondria for persisting absorption and barrier function. Selective autophagy of mitochondria (mitophagy) plays an important role in the quality control of mitochondria and maintenance of cell homeostasis. Transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV) is a porcine enteropathogenic coronavirus which induces malabsorption and lethal watery diarrhea in suckling piglets. The role of mitophagy in the pathological changes caused by TGEV infection is unclear. Here, we report that TGEV induces mitophagy to suppress oxidative stress and apoptosis induced by viral infection in porcine epithelial cells (IPEC-J2). We observe that TGEV infection induce mitochondrial injury, abnormal morphology, complete mitophagy, and without obvious apoptosis after TGEV infection. Meanwhile, TGEV also induces DJ-1 and some antioxidant genes upregulation to suppress oxidative stress induced by viral infection. Furthermore, silencing DJ-1 inhibit mitophagy and increase apoptosis after TGEV infection. In addition, we demonstrate for the first time that viral nucleocapsid protein (N) is located in mitochondria and mitophagosome during virus infection or be expressed alone. Those results provide a novel perspective for further improvement of prevention and treatment in TGEV infection. These results suggest that TGEV infection induce mitophagy to promote cell survival and possibly viral infection.

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