Using incipient lines of the Collaborative Cross (CC), a murine genetic reference population, we previously identified a quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with low SARS-CoV titer. In this study, we integrated sequence information and RNA expression of genes within the QTL to identify mucin 4 (Muc4) as a high priority candidate for controlling SARS-CoV titer in the lung. To test this hypothesis, we infected Muc4-/- mice and found that female, but not male, Muc4-/mice developed more weight loss and disease following infection with SARS-CoV. Female Muc4-/- mice also had more difficulty breathing despite reduced lung pathology; however, no change in viral titers was observed. Comparing across viral families, studies with chikungunya virus, a mosquito-borne arthralgic virus, suggests that Muc4’s impact on viral pathogenesis may be widespread. Although not confirming the original titer QTL, our data identifies a role for Muc4 in the SARS-CoV disease and viral pathogenesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
- Immunology and Microbiology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)