Age-Dependent Diarrhea Induced by a Rotaviral Nonstructural Glycoprotein

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Science  05 Apr 1996:
Vol. 272, Issue 5258, pp. 101-104
DOI: 10.1126/science.272.5258.101


The rotavirus nonstructural glycoprotein NSP4 is an intracellular receptor that mediates the acquisition of a transient membrane envelope as subviral particles bud into the endoplasmic reticulum. NSP4 also causes an increase in intracellular calcium in insect cells. Purified NSP4 or a peptide corresponding to NSP4 residues 114 to 135 induced diarrhea in young (6 to 10 days old) CD1 mice. This disease response was age-dependent, dose-dependent, and specific. Electrophysiologic data from intestinal mucosa showed that the NSP4 114–135 peptide potentiates chloride secretion by a calcium-dependent signaling pathway. Diarrhea is induced when NSP4, acting as a viral enterotoxin, triggers a signal transduction pathway.

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