MicroRNA and mRNA dysregulation in astrocytes infected with Zika virus

Robert A. Kozak, Anna Majer, Mia J. Biondi, Sarah J. Medina, Lee W. Goneau, Babu V. Sajesh, Jessy A. Slota, Vanessa Zubach, Alberto Severini, David Safronetz, Shannon L. Hiebert, Daniel R. Beniac, Timothy F. Booth, Stephanie A. Booth, Gary P. Kobinger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The Zika virus (ZIKV) epidemic is an ongoing public health concern. ZIKV is a flavivirus reported to be associated with microcephaly, and recent work in animal models demonstrates the ability of the virus to cross the placenta and affect fetal brain development. Recent findings suggest that the virus preferentially infects neural stem cells and thereby deregulates gene expression, cell cycle progression, and increases cell death. However, neuronal stem cells are not the only brain cells that are susceptible to ZIKV and infection of other brain cells may contribute to disease progression. Herein, we characterized ZIKV replication in astrocytes, and profiled temporal changes in host microRNAs (miRNAs) and transcriptomes during infection. We observed the deregulation of numerous processes known to be involved in flavivirus infection, including genes involved in the unfolded protein response pathway. Moreover, a number of miRNAs were upregulated, including miR-30e-3p, miR-30e-5p, and, miR-17-5p, which have been associated with other flavivirus infections. This study highlights potential miRNAs that may be of importance in ZIKV pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number297
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 14 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Flavivirus
  • Host response
  • Human astrocytes
  • Pathogenesis
  • Zika virus
  • microRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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