Open Access Research article

Inhibition of HSP70 reduces porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus replication in vitro

Jintao Gao, Shuqi Xiao, Xiaohong Liu, Liangliang Wang, Qianqian Ji, Delin Mo and Yaosheng Chen*

Author Affiliations

State Key Laboratory of Biocontrol, School of Life Sciences, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, 510006, P. R. China

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BMC Microbiology 2014, 14:64  doi:10.1186/1471-2180-14-64

Published: 13 March 2014



Successful viral infection requires the involvement of host cellular factors in their life cycle. Heat shock protein 70 (HSP70) can be recruited by numerous viruses to promote the folding, maturation, or assembly of viral proteins. We have previously shown that HSP70 is significantly elevated in porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV)-infected lungs, suggesting HSP70 may play a potential role during PRRSV infection. In this study, we tried to investigate the role of HSP70 during PRRSV infection.


In this study, we observed that PRRSV infection induced the expression of HSP70. The down-regulation of HSP70 using quercetin, a HSPs synthesis inhibitor, or small interfering RNAs (siRNA) reduced the viral protein level and viral production. Notably, these inhibitory effects on PRRSV infection could be attenuated by heat shock treatment. In addition, HSP70 was found to colocalize with the viral double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) and knockdown of HSP70 decreased the dsRNA levels, suggesting HSP70 is involved in the formation of viral replication and transcription complex (RTC) and thus affects the viral replication.


Our study revealed that HSP70 is an essential host factor required for the replication of PRRSV. The inhibition of HSP70 significantly reduced PRRSV replication, which may be applied as an effective antiviral strategy.

PRRSV; HSP70; DsRNA; Replication; Antiviral