Suppression of Virulent Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus Proliferation by the PI3K/Akt/GSK-3α/β Pathway

Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) has recently caused high mortality in suckling piglets with subsequent large economic losses to the swine industry. Many intracellular signaling pathways, including the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/Akt pathway, are activated by viral infection. The PI3K/Akt pathway is an important cellular pathway that has been shown to be required for virus replication. In the present study, we found that the PEDV JS-2013 strain activated Akt in Vero cells at early (5-15 min) and late stages (8-10 h) of infection. Inhibiting PI3K, an upstream activator of Akt, enhanced PEDV replication. Inhibiting GSK-3α/β, one of the downstream effectors of PI3K/Akt pathway and regulated by Akt during PEDV infected Vero cells, also enhanced PEDV replication. Collectively, our data suggest that PI3K/Akt/GSK-3α/β signaling pathway is activated by PEDV and functions in inhibiting PEDV replication.

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