Impact of alphavirus 3'UTR plasticity on mosquito transmission.
Filomatori, C. V., Merwaiss, F., Bardossy, E. S. and Alvarez, D. E.
Instituto de Investigaciones Biotecnologicas, Universidad Nacional de San Martin-CONICET, Argentina.
Instituto de Investigaciones Biotecnologicas, Universidad Nacional de San Martin-CONICET, Argentina. Electronic address: dalvarez@iibintech.com.ar.
Alphaviruses such as chikungunya and western equine encephalitis viruses are important human pathogens transmitted by mosquitoes that have recently caused large epidemic and epizootic outbreaks. The epidemic potential of alphaviruses is often related to enhanced mosquito transmission. Tissue barriers and antiviral responses impose bottlenecks to viral populations in mosquitoes. Substitutions in the envelope proteins and the presence of repeated sequence elements (RSEs) in the 3'UTR of epidemic viruses were proposed to be specifically associated to efficient replication in mosquito vectors. Here, we discuss the molecular mechanisms that originated RSEs, the evolutionary forces that shape the 3'UTR of alphaviruses, and the significance of RSEs for mosquito transmission. Finally, the presence of RSEs in the 3'UTR of viral genomes appears as evolutionary trait associated to mosquito adaptation and emerges as a common feature among viruses from the alphavirus and flavivirus genera.
Seminars in Cell & Developmental Biology 111: 148-155 (2021)