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Biochemical Variations in Cytolytic Activity of Ortho- and Paramyxoviruses in Human Lung Tumor Cell Culture

O. P. Zhirnov1,2

1Ivanovsky Institute of Virology, Gamaleya Microbiology and Epidemiology Research Center, 123098 Moscow, Russia; E-mail: zhirnov@inbox.ru

2Educational Noncommercial Organization Russian–German Academy of Social and Medical Sciences, 109004 Moscow, Russia

Received May 29, 2017; Revision received June 15, 2017
Human lung cancer cells (Calu-3 line) were studied for the development of apoptosis, necrosis, and autophagy in response to infection with ortho- and paramyxoviruses. Biochemical pathways underlying various mechanisms of cell death differed for different viruses. When infected with murine Sendai paramyxovirus, Calu-3 cells demonstrated typical necrotic features such as cell swelling (but not shrinkage), lack of chromatin DNA laddering, of caspase 3 and 8 activation, and of apoptotic cleavage of poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) protein; an activation of antiapoptotic protein kinase Akt was also revealed. In contrast, infection with avian influenza virus A/FPV/Rostock/34 (H7N1 subtype) or Newcastle disease virus (NDV, avian paramyxovirus) caused the development of typical apoptotic markers such as cell shrinkage, ladder-type chromosomal DNA fragmentation, caspase 3 and 8 activation, and proteolytic cleavage of PARP in the absence of Akt activation. Notably, no upregulation of p53 protein phosphorylation was observed in all infected cells, which indicates that p53 is not involved in the virus-induced death of Calu-3 cells. Cell death caused by the influenza virus was accompanied by overstimulation of autophagy, whereas no stimulation of autophagy was observed in the NDV-infected cells. Infection with Sendai virus caused moderate stimulation of autophagy, which suggests that the mechanism of the virus-induced cell death and the balance between autophagy and cell death in infected cancer cells depend on the virus type and might significantly differ even for closely related viruses. Therefore, an optimal strategy for oncolytic virus-mediated destruction of tumor cells in cancer patients requires selection of the most appropriate oncolytic virus based on the mechanism of its cytolytic action in a particular type of tumor.
KEY WORDS: Sendai virus, Newcastle disease virus, influenza virus, apoptosis, necrosis, autophagy, oncolytic viruses

DOI: 10.1134/S0006297917090085