Identification of human metapneumovirus-induced gene networks in airway epithelial cells by microarray analysis

X. Bao, M. Sinha, T. Liu, C. Hong, B. A. Luxon, R. P. Garofalo, A. Casola

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Human metapneumovirus (hMPV) is a major cause of lower respiratory tract infections in infants, elderly and immunocompromised patients. Little is known about the response to hMPV infection of airway epithelial cells, which play a pivotal role in initiating and shaping innate and adaptive immune responses. In this study, we analyzed the transcriptional profiles of airway epithelial cells infected with hMPV using high-density oligonucleotide microarrays. Of the 47,400 transcripts and variants represented on the Affimetrix GeneChip Human Genome HG-U133 plus 2 array, 1601 genes were significantly altered following hMPV infection. Altered genes were then assigned to functional categories and mapped to signaling pathways. Many up-regulated genes are involved in the initiation of pro-inflammatory and antiviral immune responses, including chemokines, cytokines, type I interferon and interferon-inducible proteins. Other important functional classes up-regulated by hMPV infection include cellular signaling, gene transcription and apoptosis. Notably, genes associated with antioxidant and membrane transport activity, several metabolic pathways and cell proliferation were down-regulated in response to hMPV infection. Real-time PCR and Western blot assays were used to confirm the expression of genes related to several of these functional groups. The overall result of this study provides novel information on host gene expression upon infection with hMPV and also serves as a foundation for future investigations of genes and pathways involved in the pathogenesis of this important viral infection. Furthermore, it can facilitate a comparative analysis of other paramyxoviral infections to determine the transcriptional changes that are conserved versus the one that are specific to individual pathogens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)114-127
Number of pages14
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 25 2008


  • Airway epithelial cells
  • Cell signaling
  • Chemokines
  • Gene networks
  • Inflammation
  • Innate immune response
  • hMPV

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology


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