Wolbachia-infected mosquitoes are refractory to super-infection with arthropod-borne pathogens, but the role of host cell signaling proteins in pathogen-blocking mechanisms remains to be elucidated. Here, we use an antibody microarray approach to provide a comprehensive picture of the signaling response of Aedes aegypti-derived cells to Wolbachia. This approach identifies the host cell insulin receptor as being downregulated by the bacterium. Furthermore, siRNA-mediated knockdown and treatment with a small-molecule inhibitor of the insulin receptor kinase concur to assign a crucial role for this enzyme in the replication of dengue and Zika viruses in cultured mosquito cells. Finally, we show that the production of Zika virus in Wolbachia-free live mosquitoes is impaired by treatment with the selective inhibitor mimicking Wolbachia infection. This study identifies Wolbachia-mediated downregulation of insulin receptor kinase activity as a mechanism contributing to the blocking of super-infection by arboviruses.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)