Prothymosin α accelerates dengue virus-induced thrombocytopenia

Mei-Lin Yang, Chia-Ling Lin, Yi-Cheng Chen, I-An Lu, Bing-Hua Su, Yen-Hsu Chen, Kuan-Ting Liu, Chao-Liang Wu, Ai-Li Shiau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Thrombocytopenia is the hallmark finding in dengue virus (DENV) infection. Prothymosin α (ProT) has both intracellular and extracellular functions involved in cell cycle progression, cell differentiation, gene regulation, oxidative stress response, and immunomodulation. In this study, we found that ProT levels were elevated in dengue patient sera as well as DENV-infected megakaryoblasts and their culture supernatants. ProT transgenic mice had reduced platelet counts with prolonged bleeding times. Upon treatment with DENV plus anti-CD41 antibody, they exhibited severe skin hemorrhage. Furthermore, overexpression of ProT suppressed megakaryocyte differentiation. Infection with DENV inhibited miR-126 expression, upregulated DNA (cytosine-5)-methyltransferase 1 (DNMT1), downregulated GATA-1, and increased ProT expression. Upregulation of ProT led to Nrf2 activation and reduced reactive oxygen species production, thereby suppressing megakaryopoiesis. We report the pathophysiological role of ProT in DENV infection and propose an involvement of the miR-126-DNMT1-GATA-1-ProT-Nrf2 signaling axis in DENV-induced thrombocytopenia.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108422
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 19 2024


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