Differential sensitivity of viruses to the antiviral activity of Shiga toxin 1 A subunit

Witold A. Ferens, Mandi Halver, Kurt E. Gustin, Troy Ott, Carolyn J. Hovde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The non-toxic enzymic A subunit of Shiga toxin 1 (StxA1) reduces expression and replication of the bovine retroviruses, bovine leukemia virus and bovine immunodeficiency virus (BIV). Here, the impact of StxA1 on representative positive and negative stranded RNA viruses was compared. BIV and equine infectious anemia virus were sensitive to picomolar concentrations of StxA1 while poliovirus, rhinovirus, and vesicular stomatitis virus were only marginally sensitive to nanomolar concentrations of toxin. Thus, the length of the reproductive cycle and/or other factors, but not viral encapsulation may play a role in determining sensitivity to StxA1. The effects of StxA1 at concentrations from 0.01 to 10 μg/ml on the most sensitive virus (BIV-infected cultures of fetal bovine lung cells) were analyzed by electron microscopy 48 h post challenge. Cells treated with 0.1 μg StxA1/ml or higher toxin concentrations were similar in appearance and showed progressively fewer viral factories with increasing toxin concentration. However, cells treated with 0.01 μg/ml StxA1 had a radically different appearance, exhibiting smooth cell membranes and high vacuolization. These results showed that complex retroviruses were more sensitive to StxA1 than single-stranded RNA viruses and that StxA1 interfered with retroviral replication in a concentration-dependent manner.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)104-108
Number of pages5
JournalVirus Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cancer Research
  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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