sPLA2 (secretory phospholipase A2) enzymes have been implicated in various biological events, yet their precise physiological functions remain largely unresolved. In the present study we show that group V and X sPLA2s, which are two potent plasma membrane-acting sPLA2s, are capable of preventing host cells from being infected with an adenovirus. Bronchial epithelial cells and lung fibroblasts pre-expressing group V and X sPLA2s showed marked resistance to adenovirus-mediated gene delivery in a manner dependent on their catalytic activity. Although adenovirus particles were insensitive to recombinant group V and X sPLA2s, direct addition of these enzymes to 293A cells suppressed both number and size of adenovirus plaque formation. Group V and X sPLA2s retarded the entry of adenovirus into endosomes. Moreover, adenoviral infection was suppressed by LPC (lysophosphatidylcholine), a membrane-hydrolytic product of these sPLA2s. Thus hydrolysis of the plasma membrane by these sPLA2s may eventually lead to the protection of host cells from adenovirus entry. Given that group V and X sPLA2s are expressed in human airway epithelium and macrophages and that the expression of endogenous group V sPLA2 is upregulated by virus-related stimuli in these cells, our present results raise the possibility that group V and X sPLA2s may play a role in innate immunity against adenoviral infection in the respiratory tract.

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