Research Article

Rotavirus induces intercellular calcium waves through ADP signaling

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Science  20 Nov 2020:
Vol. 370, Issue 6519, eabc3621
DOI: 10.1126/science.abc3621

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Riding the calcium waves

Rotavirus causes severe diarrhea and vomiting in children worldwide, yet how infection causes these diseases remains poorly understood. A leading theory is that virus-infected cells secrete paracrine signaling molecules that dysregulate epithelial cells. Chang-Graham et al. found that rotavirus-infected cells trigger cell-to-cell signaling that manifests as intercellular calcium waves (see the Perspective by Stanifer and Boulant). This signal results from the repeated release of adenosine 5′-diphosphate by rotavirus-infected cells. This release activates receptors on nearby uninfected cells, resulting in a calcium signal. The intercellular calcium waves activate chloride and serotonin secretion, which contributes to diarrhea and vomiting. Blocking this paracrine signal could represent a target for antidiarrheal pharmacotherapy.

Science, this issue p. eabc3621; see also p. 909

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