Human metapneumovirus infection of airway epithelial cells is associated with changes in core metabolic pathways

Yanhua Zhao, Harendra Singh Chahar, Narayana Komaravelli, Anar Dossumekova, Antonella Casola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Human metapneumovirus (hMPV) is an important cause of acute lower respiratory tract infections in infants, elderly and immunocompromised individuals. Ingenuity pathway analysis of microarrays data showed that 20% of genes affected by hMPV infection of airway epithelial cells (AECs) were related to metabolism. We found that levels of the glycolytic pathway enzymes hexokinase 2, pyruvate kinase M2, and lactate dehydrogenase A were significantly upregulated in normal human AECs upon hMPV infection, as well as levels of enzymes belonging to the hexosamine biosynthetic and glycosylation pathways. On the other hand, expression of the majority of the enzymes belonging to the tricarboxylic acid cycle was significantly diminished. Inhibition of hexokinase 2 and of the glycosylating enzyme O-linked N-acetylglucosamine transferase led to a significant reduction in hMPV titer, indicating that metabolic changes induced by hMPV infection play a major role during the virus life cycle, and could be explored as potential antiviral targets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-191
Number of pages9
StatePublished - May 1 2019



  • Glycolysis
  • Human metapneumovirus
  • Metabolism
  • TCA cycle
  • Virus replication

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology

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