Dynamic proteomic analysis of Aedes aegypti Aag-2 cells infected with Mayaro virus

Vasconcellos, Anna Fernanda, et al. “Dynamic Proteomic Analysis of Aedes Aegypti Aag-2 Cells Infected with Mayaro Virus.” Parasites & Vectors, vol. 13, no. 1, 2020, doi:10.1186/s13071-020-04167-2.



Mayaro virus (MAYV) is responsible for a mosquito-borne tropical disease with clinical symptoms similar to dengue or chikungunya virus fevers. In addition to the recent territorial expansion of MAYV, this virus may be responsible for an increasing number of outbreaks. Currently, no vaccine is available. Aedes aegypti is promiscuous in its viral transmission and thus an interesting model to understand MAYV-vector interactions. While the life-cycle of MAYV is known, the mechanisms by which this arbovirus affects mosquito host cells are not clearly understood.


After defining the best conditions for cell culture harvesting using the highest virus titer, Ae. aegypti Aag-2 cells were infected with a Brazilian MAYV isolate at a MOI of 1 in order to perform a comparative proteomic analysis of MAYV-infected Aag-2 cells by using a label-free semi-quantitative bottom-up proteomic analysis. Time-course analyses were performed at 12 and 48 h post-infection (hpi). After spectrum alignment between the triplicates of each time point and changes of the relative abundance level calculation, the identified proteins were annotated and using Gene Ontology database and protein pathways were annotated using the Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes.


After three reproducible biological replicates, the total proteome analysis allowed for the identification of 5330 peptides and the mapping of 459, 376 and 251 protein groups, at time 0, 12 hpi and 48 hpi, respectively. A total of 161 mosquito proteins were found to be differentially abundant during the time-course, mostly related to host cell processes, including redox metabolism, translation, energy metabolism, and host cell defense. MAYV infection also increased host protein expression implicated in viral replication.


To our knowledge, this first proteomic time-course analysis of MAYV-infected mosquito cells sheds light on the molecular basis of the viral infection process and host cell response during the first 48 hpi. Our data highlight several mosquito proteins modulated by the virus, revealing that MAYV manipulates mosquito cell metabolism for its propagation.