The core ubiquitin system of mandarin fish,Siniperca chuatsi, can be utilized by infectious spleen and kidney necrosis virus

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The process of ubiquitination regulates various cellular processes. The ubiquitin-proteasome system (UPS) in fish, which is important for the generation of innate and adaptive immune responses to pathogens, is the target of aquatic viruses to achieve immune evasion. We cloned and characterized three genes, namely, a ubiquitin-activating enzyme (ScE1), a ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme (ScE2), and a HECT-type ubiquitin ligase (ScE3) of mandarin fish Siniperca chuatsi. The genes were expressed in all tissues and the highest levels were observed in the blood. In infectious spleen and kidney necrosis virus (ISKNV)-infected mandarin fish fry cells, the expression levels of the three genes in vitro were almost identical, and upregulated during the early stage and downregulated at the late stage. In the blood of ISKNV-infected mandarin fish, their expressions in vivo were downregulated equally although peaking at different timepoints, indicating the suppression of UPS by viral infection. Furthermore, these recombinant proteins were determined to function well in ubiquitination assays in vitro. Moreover, ScE1 and ScE2 can be utilized by four RING-type viral E3s (vE3s) that are encoded by ISKNV. The in vitro activity of vE3 was stronger than that of ScE3, suggesting that the fish UPS may be hijacked by ISKNV via E3 activity competition and expression modulation. The present study investigated the function of mandarin fish UPS as well as its response to iridovirus infection, providing insights to better understand the virus-host interactions and the mechanism of ISKNV in evading host immune responses.

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