• Rhinovirus C replication is associated with the endoplasmic reticulum and triggers cytopathic effects in an in vitro model of human airway epithelium.

      Gagliardi, Talita B; Goldstein, Monty E; Song, Daniel; Gray, Kelsey M; Jung, Jae W; Ignacio, Maxinne A; Stroka, Kimberly M; Duncan, Gregg A; Scull, Margaret A (Public Library of Science, 2022-01-07)
      The clinical impact of rhinovirus C (RV-C) is well-documented; yet, the viral life cycle remains poorly defined. Thus, we characterized RV-C15 replication at the single-cell level and its impact on the human airway epithelium (HAE) using a physiologically-relevant in vitro model. RV-C15 replication was restricted to ciliated cells where viral RNA levels peaked at 12 hours post-infection (hpi), correlating with elevated titers in the apical compartment at 24hpi. Notably, infection was associated with a loss of polarized expression of the RV-C receptor, cadherin-related family member 3. Visualization of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) during RV-C15 replication revealed two distinct replication complex arrangements within the cell, likely corresponding to different time points in infection. To further define RVC15 replication sites, we analyzed the expression and colocalization of giantin, phosphatidylinositol- 4-phosphate, and calnexin with dsRNA. Despite observing Golgi fragmentation by immunofluorescence during RV-C15 infection as previously reported for other RVs, a high ratio of calnexin-dsRNA colocalization implicated the endoplasmic reticulum as the primary site for RV-C15 replication in HAE. RV-C15 infection was also associated with elevated stimulator of interferon genes (STING) expression and the induction of incomplete autophagy, a mechanism used by other RVs to facilitate non-lytic release of progeny virions. Notably, genetic depletion of STING in HAE attenuated RV-C15 and -A16 (but not -B14) replication, corroborating a previously proposed proviral role for STING in some RV infections. Finally, RV-C15 infection resulted in a temporary loss in epithelial barrier integrity and the translocation of tight junction proteins while a reduction in mucociliary clearance indicated cytopathic effects on epithelial function. Together, our findings identify both shared and unique features of RV-C replication compared to related rhinoviruses and define the impact of RV-C on both epithelial cell organization and tissue functionality-aspects of infection that may contribute to pathogenesis in vivo. © 2022 Gagliardi et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.