Defining how each ORF of porcine circovirus type 2 (PCV2) manipulates the host immune system may be helpful to understand the disease progression of post-weaning multisystemic wasting syndrome. In this study, we demonstrated a direct interaction between the PCV2 ORF2 and complement component 1, q subcomponent binding protein (C1QBP) within the cytoplasm of host macrophages. The physical interaction between PCV2 ORF2 and C1QBP inhibited ubiquitin-mediated proteasomal degradation of C1QBP in macrophages. Increased stability of C1QBP by the interaction with PCV2 ORF2 further enhanced the phagocytic activity of porcine macrophages through the phosphoinositol 3-kinase signalling pathway. This may explain the molecular basis of how PCV2 ORF2 enhances the phagocytic activity of host macrophages.
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