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Diseases of Aquatic Organisms

    DAO prepress abstract   -  DOI:

    The white spot syndrome virus down-regulates the expression of histones H2A and H4 of Penaeus vannamei to promote infection

    Trinidad Encinas-García, Daynette Lorely Loreto-Quiroz, Fernando Mendoza-Cano, Alberto Peña-Rodriguez, Diana Fimbres-Olivarria, Enrique de la Re-Vega, Arturo Sánchez-Paz*

    *Corresponding author:

    ABSTRACT: The white spot syndrome virus (WSSV) is a highly lethal and contagious pathogen to most cultivated shrimp species and may cause cumulative mortalities of up to 100% within the first 3 to 10 d after the onset of clinical signs. The WSSV genome contains the ICP11 gene, which encodes the most highly expressed viral protein in WSSV-infected shrimp. This protein acts as a multifunctional DNA mimic protein that disrupts the nucleosome assembly by binding to the histone proteins H2A and H3. In addition, it has been demonstrated that WSSV provokes severe nuclear hypertrophy and DNA damage. However, little is known on the influence the WSSV on the expression of the host´s genes encoding for histones. Therefore, we investigated the effect the viral infection on the expression of the genes encoding histones of shrimp. Significant changes were observed on the expression of the H2A and H4 shrimp genes, which coincide with the dynamics of replication of the virus. Thus, it may be suggested that this may be a viral strategy to evade the host’s immune response in order to promote its replication.