Phyloinformatics Lab

New Preprint Available

Our new preprint on “Changes in HERVs Expression and Interleukins mRNAs Levels in Trophoblastic Cells Infected by ZIKV” has just been made public.

Graphical Abstract
Graphical Abstract


Zika virus (ZIKV) is a notable arbovirus with maternal, sexual, and TORCH-related transmission capabilities. After 2015, Brazil had the highest number of ZIVK-infected pregnant women who lost their babies or delivered them with Congenital ZIKV Syndrome (CZS). ZIKV infection has been linked to variations in endogenous retroviruses (ERVs) and interleukins within the placenta. ERVs, remnants of ancient viral infections integrated into the genome, include syncytin receptors crucial for placental development. Interleukins, immune response regulators, aid immune tolerance and support syncytial structure development in the placenta, where syncytin receptors facilitate vital cell-to-cell fusion events. Since ZIKV can infect trophoblast cells, we investigated the relationship between ZIKV infections and ERV and interleukin modulations. Investigating the impact of ZIKV on trophoblast cells, we examined two cell types (BeWo and HTR8) infected with ZIKV-MR766 (African) and ZIKV-IEC-Paraíba (Asia-Brazilian) using Taqman and RT2 Profiler PCR Array assays. While early ZIKV infection (24-48 hours) did not induce differential ERV and interleukin expression, future studies involving additional trophoblastic cell lineages and extended infection timelines will illuminate the dynamic interplay between ZIKV, HERVs, interleukins, and cytokines essential for placental formation and function.


Costa, A.L.D.; Prieto-Oliveira, P.; Duarte-Barbosa, M.; Andreata-Santos, R.; Peter, C.M.; Prolo, T.; Antoneli, F.; Carvalho, M.I.V.G.D.; Durães-Carvalho, R.; Briones, M.R.D.S.; Maricato, J.T.; Zanotto, P.M.A.; Jacob Machado, D.; Janini, L.M.R. Changes in HERVs Expression and Interleukins mRNAs Levels in Trophoblastic Cells Infected by ZIKV. Preprints 2024, 2024040232.

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