Imaging of influenza virus sialidase activity in living cells
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Influenza virus is rich in variation and mutations. It would be very convenient for virus detection and isolation to histochemically detect viral infection regardless of variation and mutations. Here, we established a histochemical imaging assay for influenza virus sialidase activity in living cells by using a new fluorescent sialidase substrate, 2-(benzothiazol-2-yl)-4-bromophenyl 5-acetamido-3,5-dideoxy-a-D-glycero-D- galacto-2-nonulopyranosidonic acid (BTP3-Neu5Ac). The BTP3-Neu5Ac assay histochemically visualized influenza virus-infected cells regardless of viral hosts and subtypes. Influenza virus neuraminidase- expressed cells, viral focus formation, and virus-infected locations in mice lung tissues were easily, rapidly, and sensitively detected by the BTP3-Neu5Ac assay. Histochemical visualization with the BTP3-Neu5Ac assay is extremely useful for detection of influenza viruses without the need for fixation or a specific antibody. This novel assay should greatly improve the efficiency of detection, titration, and isolation of influenza viruses and might contribute to research on viral sialidase.
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