Exosomes carry microRNAs into neighboring cells to promote diffusive infection of Newcastle disease virus

Newcastle disease virus (NDV), an avian paramyxovirus, was shown to prefer to replicate in tumor cells instead of normal cells; however, this mechanism has not been fully elucidated. Exosomes play a crucial role in intercellular communication due to the bioactive substances they carry. Several studies have shown that exosomes are involved in virus infections. However, the effect that exosomes have on NDV-infected tumor cells is not known. In this study, we focus on the role of exosomes secreted by NDV-infected HeLa cells in promoting NDV replication. Three miRNA candidates (miR-1273f, miR-1184, and miR-198) embraced by exosomes were associated with enhancing NDV-induced cytopathic effects on HeLa cells. Furthermore, luciferase assays, RT-qPCR, and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) all demonstrated that these miRNAs could suppress interferon (IFN)-beta gene expression. Enhanced NDV replication in HeLa cells was identified by Western blot and plaque assays. Based on these results, we speculate that NDV employed exosomes entry into neighboring cells, which carry miRNAs, resulting in inhibition of the IFN pathway and promotion of viral infection. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the involvement of NDV-employed exosomes in tumor cells, and as such, it provides new insights into the development of anti-tumor therapies.

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