Altered microrna transcriptome in cultured human liver cells upon infection with ebola virus

Idrissa Diallo, Jeffrey Ho, Benoit Laffont, Jonathan Laugier, Abderrahim Benmoussa, Marine Lambert, Zeinab Husseini, Geoff Soule, Robert Kozak, Gary P. Kobinger, Patrick Provost

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ebola virus (EBOV) is a virulent pathogen, notorious for inducing life‐threatening hemor-rhagic fever, that has been responsible for several outbreaks in Africa and remains a public health threat. Yet, its pathogenesis is still not completely understood. Although there have been numerous studies on host transcriptional response to EBOV, with an emphasis on the clinical features, the impact of EBOV infection on post‐transcriptional regulatory elements, such as microRNAs (miR‐ NAs), remains largely unexplored. MiRNAs are involved in inflammation and immunity and are believed to be important modulators of the host response to viral infection. Here, we have used small RNA sequencing (sRNA‐Seq), qPCR and functional analyses to obtain the first comparative miRNA transcriptome (miRNome) of a human liver cell line (Huh7) infected with one of the following three EBOV strains: Mayinga (responsible for the first Zaire outbreak in 1976), Makona (re-sponsible for the West Africa outbreak in 2013–2016) and the epizootic Reston (presumably innoc-uous to humans). Our results highlight specific miRNA‐based immunity pathways and substantial differences between the strains beyond their clinical manifestation and pathogenicity. These analyses shed new light into the molecular signature of liver cells upon EBOV infection and reveal new insights into miRNA‐based virus attack and host defense strategy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3792
JournalInternational journal of molecular sciences
Issue number7
StatePublished - Apr 1 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Ebola virus
  • Liver cell
  • MicroRNA
  • Small RNA sequencing
  • Transcriptome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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