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Borna disease virus docks on neuronal DNA double-strand breaks to replicate and dampens neuronal activity
Marty, F. H., Bettamin, L., Thouard, A., Bourgade, K., Allart, S., Larrieu, G., ... & Suberbielle, E.
Borna disease virus, neurons, DNA double-strand breaks, activity, replication, NMDAR, neuronal function, RNA virus, persistence
Borna disease viruses (BoDV) have recently emerged as zoonotic neurotropic pathogens. These persistent RNA viruses assemble nuclear replication centers (vSPOT) in close interaction with the host chromatin. However, the topology of this interaction and its consequences on neuronal function remain unexplored. In neurons, DNA double-strand breaks (DSB) have been identified as novel epigenetic mechanisms regulating neurotransmission and cognition. Activity-dependent DSB contribute critically to neuronal plasticity processes, which could be impaired upon infection. Here, we show that BoDV-1 infection, or the singled-out expression of viral Nucleoprotein and Phosphoprotein increases neuronal DSB levels. Interestingly, inducing DSB promoted the recruitment anew of vSPOT colocalized with DSB and increased viral RNA replication. BoDV-1 persistence decreased neuronal activity and response to stimulation by dampening the surface expression of glutamate receptors. Taken together, our results propose an original mechanistic crosstalk between persistence of an RNA virus and neuronal function, through the control of DSB levels.