Yue-Lin Yang, Jianbo Liu, Tong-Yun Wang, Meng Chen, Gang Wang, Yong-Bo Yang, Xin Geng, Ming-Xia Sun, Fandan Meng, Yan-Dong Tang, Li Feng
J Virol.2021 Aug 18;JVI0094421.doi: 10.1128/JVI.00944-21. Online ahead of print.
Porcine deltacoronavirus (PDCoV) is a recently discovered coronavirus that poses a potential threat to the global swine industry. Although we know that aminopeptidase N (APN) is important for PDCoV replication, it is unclear whether it is the primary functional receptor, and the mechanism by which it promotes viral replication is not fully understood. Here, we systematically investigated the role of porcine APN (pAPN) during PDCoV infection of non-susceptible cells, including in viral attachment and internalization. Using a viral entry assay, we found that PDCoV can enter non-susceptible cells but then fails to initiate efficient replication. pAPN and PDCoV virions clearly co-localized with the endocytotic markers RAB5, RAB7, and LAMP1, suggesting that pAPN mediates PDCoV entry by an endocytotic pathway. Most importantly, our study shows that regardless of which receptor PDCoV engages, only entry by an endocytotic route ultimately leads to efficient viral replication. This knowledge should contribute to the development of efficient antiviral treatments, which are especially useful in preventing cross-species transmission. IMPORTANCE PDCoV is a pathogen with potential for transmission across diverse species, although the mechanism of such host-switching events (from swine to other species) is poorly understood. Here, we show that PDCoV enters non-susceptible cells, but without efficient replication. We also investigated the key role played by aminopeptidase N in mediating PDCoV entry via an endocytotic pathway. Our results demonstrate that viral entry via endocytosis is a major determinant of efficient PDCoV replication. This knowledge provides a basis for future studies of the cross-species transmissibility of PDCoV and the development of appropriate anti-viral drugs.