Viruses depend on cellular machinery to efficiently replicate. The host cytoskeleton is one of the first cellular systems hijacked by viruses in order to ensure their intracellular transport and promote the development of infection. Our previous results demonstrated that stable microfilaments and microtubules interfered with human influenza A/NWS/33 virus (H1N1) infection in semi-permissive LLC-MK2 cells. Although formins play a key role in cytoskeletal remodelling, few studies addressed a possible role of these proteins in development of viral infection. Here, we have demonstrated that mammalian Diaphanous-related formin-1 (mDia1) is involved in the control of cytoskeleton dynamics during human influenza A virus infection. First, by employing cytoskeleton-perturbing drugs, we evidenced a cross-talk occurring between microtubules and microfilaments that also has implications on the intracellular localization of mDia1. In influenza A/NWS/33 virus-infected LLC-MK2 cells, mDia1 showed a highly dynamic intracellular localization and partially co-localized with actin and tubulin. A depletion of mDia1 by RNA-mediated RNA interference was found to improve the outcome of influenza A/NWS/33 virus infection and to increase the dynamics of microfilament and microtubule networks in LLC-MK2 cells. Consistent with these findings, observations made in epithelial respiratory cells from paediatric patients with acute respiratory disease assessed that the expression of mDia1 is stimulated by influenza A virus but not by respiratory syncytial virus. Taken together, the obtained results suggest that mDia1 restricts the initiation of influenza A/NWS/33 virus infection in LLC-MK2 cells by counteracting cytoskeletal dynamics.
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