Product(s) used in this publication: Single Kinase Substrate Peptides
Monkeypox virus (MPXV) is comprised of two clades: Congo Basin MPXV, with an associated case fatality rate of 10%, and Western African MPXV, which is associated with less severe infection and minimal lethality. We thus postulated that Congo Basin and West African MPXV would differentially modulate host cell responses and, as many host responses are regulated through phosphorylation independent of transcription or translation, we employed systems kinomics with peptide arrays to investigate these functional host responses. Using this approach we have demonstrated that Congo Basin MPXV infection selectively down-regulates host responses as compared with West African MPXV, including growth factor- and apoptosis-related responses. These results were confirmed using fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis demonstrating that West African MPXV infection resulted in a significant increase in apoptosis in human monocytes as compared with Congo Basin MPXV. Further, differentially phosphorylated kinases were identified through comparison of our MPXV data sets and validated as potential targets for pharmacological inhibition of Congo Basin MPXV infection, including increased Akt S473 phosphorylation and decreased p53 S15 phosphorylation. Inhibition of Akt S473 phosphorylation resulted in a significant decrease in Congo Basin MPXV virus yield (261-fold) but did not affect West African MPXV. In addition, treatment with staurosporine, an apoptosis activator resulted in a 49-fold greater decrease in Congo Basin MPXV yields as compared with West African MPXV. Thus, using a systems kinomics approach, our investigation demonstrates that West African and Congo Basin MPXV differentially modulate host cell responses and has identified potential host targets of therapeutic interest.