Differential Susceptibility of Human Cancer Cell Lines to Wild-Type Tanapoxvirus Infection

Hui Lin Lee, Karim Essani*
Laboratory of Virology, Department of Biological Sciences, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI 49008, USA

© Lee and Essani; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Department of Biological Sciences, Western Michigan University, 3441 Wood Hall, Kalamazoo, MI 49008, USA; Tel: (269) 387-2661; Fax: (269) 387-5609; E-mail:


Tanapoxvirus (TPV) is a member of the genus Yatapoxvirus in the family Poxviridae and is endemic to equatorial Africa. This disease is restricted to human and non-human primates, producing a mild febrile illness characterized by a single or more rarely additional pock-like lesions on the extremities. While there are several studies elucidating the replication cycle and host range of TPV, there is currently no standardized investigation comparing the ability of TPV to successfully replicate in a variety of tumor cell lines. This study examined the cytopathic effect and calculated the efficiency of TPV replication in vitro using 14 different human cancer cell lines. TPV replicates efficiently in some human tumor cells, and is restricted in others when measured by viral titer at 7 days post infection. Results described here clearly demonstrate that TPV replication in one glioblastoma cell line (U-373), and one colorectal cancer cell line (HCT-116) is more productive than in owl monkey kidney cells (OMK). Replication in two renal cancer cell lines (ACHN and Caki-1) is also increased when compared to OMK. TPV infection produced the greatest change in cellular morphology in U-373 cells, and to a much lesser degree in the breast cancer cell lines T-47D and MCF-7, and in the ovarian cancer line SK-OV3. Negligible change was noted in glioblastoma line U-87, breast cancer line MDA-MB-435, osteosarcoma line HOS, melanoma line SK-MEL5, colorectal cancer line COLO205, and prostate cancer line PC3. The cell lines least permissive to TPV replication were the glioblastoma (U-87) and melanoma (SK-MEL5) cell lines.

Keywords: Tanapoxvirus, poxvirus, yatapoxvirus, glioblastoma, cell culture..