Abstract Title:

The cytoprotective enzyme heme oxygenase-1 suppresses Ebola virus replication.

Abstract Source:

J Virol. 2013 Dec ;87(24):13795-802. Epub 2013 Oct 9. PMID: 24109237

Abstract Author(s):

Lindsay Hill-Batorski, Peter Halfmann, Gabriele Neumann, Yoshihiro Kawaoka

Article Affiliation:

Lindsay Hill-Batorski


Ebola virus (EBOV) is the causative agent of a severe hemorrhagic fever in humans with reported case fatality rates as high as 90%. There are currently no licensed vaccines or antiviral therapeutics to combat EBOV infections. Heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1), an enzyme that catalyzes the rate-limiting step in heme degradation, has antioxidative properties and protects cells from various stresses. Activated HO-1 was recently shown to have antiviral activity, potently inhibiting the replication of viruses such as hepatitis C virus and human immunodeficiency virus. However, the effect of HO-1 activation on EBOV replication remains unknown. To determine whether the upregulation of HO-1 attenuates EBOV replication, we treated cells with cobalt protoporphyrin (CoPP), a selective HO-1 inducer, and assessed its effects on EBOV replication. We found that CoPP treatment, pre- and postinfection, significantly suppressed EBOV replication in a manner dependent upon HO-1 upregulation and activity. In addition, stable overexpression of HO-1 significantly attenuated EBOV growth. Although the exact mechanism behind the antiviral properties of HO-1 remains to be elucidated, our data show that HO-1 upregulation does not attenuate EBOV entry or budding but specifically targets EBOV transcription/replication. Therefore, modulation of the cellular enzyme HO-1 may represent a novel therapeutic strategy against EBOV infection.

Study Type : In Vitro Study

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