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Open Access Short report

A trypsin-like serine protease is involved in pseudorabies virus invasion through the basement membrane barrier of porcine nasal respiratory mucosa

Sarah Glorieux1*, Herman W Favoreel12, Lennert Steukers1, Annelies P Vandekerckhove1 and Hans J Nauwynck1

Author Affiliations

1 Laboratory of Virology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, B-9820 Merelbeke, Belgium

2 Laboratory of Immunology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Salisburylaan 133, B-9820 Merelbeke, Belgium

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Veterinary Research 2011, 42:58  doi:10.1186/1297-9716-42-58

Published: 14 April 2011

Abstract

Several alphaherpesviruses breach the basement membrane during mucosal invasion. In the present study, the role of proteases in this process was examined. The serine protease-specific inhibitor AEBSF inhibited penetration of the basement membrane by the porcine alphaherpesvirus pseudorabies virus (PRV) by 88.1% without affecting lateral spread. Inhibitors of aspartic-, cysteine-, and metalloproteases did not inhibit viral penetration of the basement membrane. Further analysis using the Soybean Type I-S trypsin inhibitor for the serine protease subcategory of trypsin-like serine proteases resulted in a 96.9% reduction in plaque depth underneath the basement membrane. These data reveal a role of a trypsin-like serine protease in PRV penetration of the basement membrane.