Induction of MxA gene expression by influenza A virus requires type I or type III interferon signaling.
ABSTRACT: The human MxA gene belongs to the class of interferon (IFN)-stimulated genes (ISGs) involved in antiviral resistance against influenza viruses. Here, we studied the requirements for MxA induction by influenza A virus infection. MxA is transcriptionally upregulated by type I (alpha and beta) and type III (lambda) IFNs. Therefore, MxA is widely used in gene expression studies as a reliable marker for IFN bioactivity. It is not known, however, whether viruses can directly activate MxA expression in the absence of secreted IFN. By using an NS1-deficient influenza A virus and human cells with defects in IFN production or the STAT1 gene, we studied the induction profile of MxA by real-time reverse transcriptase PCR. The NS1-deficient virus is known to be a strong activator of the IFN system because NS1 acts as a viral IFN-antagonistic protein. Nevertheless, MxA gene expression was not inducible by this virus upon infection of IFN nonproducer cells and STAT1-null cells. Likewise, neither IFN-alpha nor IFN-lambda had a sizeable effect on the STAT1-null cells, indicating that MxA expression requires STAT1 signaling and cannot be triggered directly by virus infection. In contrast, the expression of the IFN-stimulated gene ISG56 was induced by influenza virus in these cells, confirming that ISG56 differs from MxA in being directly inducible by viral triggers in an IFN-independent way. In summary, our study reveals that MxA is a unique marker for the detection of type I and type III IFN activity during virus infections and IFN therapy.
Project description:Virus-infected cells secrete a broad range of interferon (IFN) subtypes which in turn trigger the synthesis of antiviral factors that confer host resistance. IFN-alpha, IFN-beta and other type I IFNs signal through a common universally expressed cell surface receptor, whereas IFN-lambda uses a distinct receptor complex for signaling that is not present on all cell types. Since type I IFN receptor-deficient mice (IFNAR1(0/0)) exhibit greatly increased susceptibility to various viral diseases, it remained unclear to which degree IFN-lambda might contribute to innate immunity. To address this issue we performed influenza A virus infections of mice which carry functional alleles of the influenza virus resistance gene Mx1 and which, therefore, develop a more complete innate immune response to influenza viruses than standard laboratory mice. We demonstrate that intranasal administration of IFN-lambda readily induced the antiviral factor Mx1 in mouse lungs and efficiently protected IFNAR1(0/0) mice from lethal influenza virus infection. By contrast, intraperitoneal application of IFN-lambda failed to induce Mx1 in the liver of IFNAR1(0/0) mice and did not protect against hepatotropic virus infections. Mice lacking functional IFN-lambda receptors were only slightly more susceptible to influenza virus than wild-type mice. However, mice lacking functional receptors for both IFN-alpha/beta and IFN-lambda were hypersensitive and even failed to restrict usually non-pathogenic influenza virus mutants lacking the IFN-antagonistic factor NS1. Interestingly, the double-knockout mice were not more susceptible against hepatotropic viruses than IFNAR1(0/0) mice. From these results we conclude that IFN-lambda contributes to inborn resistance against viral pathogens infecting the lung but not the liver.
Project description:Alpha interferon (IFN-α) production is triggered when influenza virus RNA is detected by appropriate pattern recognition receptors in the host cell. IFN-α induces the expression of more than 300 interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs), and this blunts influenza virus replication. The human ISG MxA can inhibit influenza A virus replication in mouse cells by interfering with a step in the virus replication cycle after primary transcription of the negative-strand RNA genome to mRNA (J. Pavlovic, O. Haller, and P. Staeheli, J. Virol. 66:2564-2569, 1992). To determine the role of MxA in blocking human influenza A virus replication in primate cells, we manipulated MxA expression in rhesus kidney epithelial cells (LLC-MK(2)) and human lung carcinoma cells (A549). We found that IFN-α treatment prior to influenza virus infection suppressed virus replication and induced the expression of many ISGs, including MxA. However, IFN-α-mediated suppression of virus replication was abolished by small interfering RNA (siRNA) knockdown of MxA expression in IFN-treated cells. In addition, influenza virus replication was suppressed in Vero cells stably transfected with MxA. A strand-specific reverse transcription-PCR (RT-PCR) assay showed that positive-strand influenza virus mRNA and negative-strand genomic RNA (gRNA) accumulated to high levels at 8 h after infection in control Vero cells containing the empty vector. However, in Vero cells stably transfected with MxA positive-strand influenza virus mRNA, complementary positive-strand influenza virus genome RNA (cRNA) and influenza virus gRNA were drastically suppressed. Thus, in primate cells, MxA inhibits human seasonal influenza virus replication at a step prior to primary transcription of gRNA into mRNA. Taken together, these results demonstrate that MxA mediates control of influenza virus replication in primate cells treated with IFN-α.
Project description:The NS1 protein of influenza A virus contributes to viral pathogenesis, primarily by enabling the virus to disarm the host cell type IFN defense system. We examined the downstream effects of NS1 protein expression during influenza A virus infection on global cellular mRNA levels by measuring expression of over 13,000 cellular genes in response to infection with wild-type and mutant viruses in human lung epithelial cells. Influenza A/PR/8/34 virus infection resulted in a significant induction of genes involved in the IFN pathway. Deletion of the viral NS1 gene increased the number and magnitude of expression of cellular genes implicated in the IFN, NF-kappaB, and other antiviral pathways. Interestingly, different IFN-induced genes showed different sensitivities to NS1-mediated inhibition of their expression. A recombinant virus with a C-terminal deletion in its NS1 gene induced an intermediate cellular mRNA expression pattern between wild-type and NS1 knockout viruses. Most significantly, a virus containing the 1918 pandemic NS1 gene was more efficient at blocking the expression of IFN-regulated genes than its parental influenza A/WSN/33 virus. Taken together, our results suggest that the cellular response to influenza A virus infection in human lung cells is significantly influenced by the sequence of the NS1 gene, demonstrating the importance of the NS1 protein in regulating the host cell response triggered by virus infection.
Project description:Interferon lambda 3 (IFN-?3) is a newly identified cytokine with antiviral activity, and its single nucleotide polymorphisms are strongly associated with the treatment effectiveness and development of chronic hepatitis C virus infection. We thus examined the potential of IFN-?3 to inhibit HIV replication and the possible mechanisms of the anti-HIV action by IFN-?3 in human macrophages.Under different conditions (before, during, and after HIV infection), IFN-?3 significantly inhibited viral replication in macrophages, which was associated with the induction of multiple antiviral cellular factors (ISG56, MxA, OAS-1, A3G/F and tetherin) and IFN regulatory factors (IRF-1, 3, 5, 7 and 9). This anti-HIV action of IFN-?3 could be compromised by the JAK-STAT inhibitor. In addition, IFN-?3 treatment of macrophages induced the expression of toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) and two key adaptors (MyD88 and TRIF) in type I IFN pathway activation. However, HIV infection compromised IFN-?3-mediated induction of the key elements in JAK-STAT signaling pathway.These data indicate that IFN-?3 exerts its anti-HIV function by activating JAK-STAT pathway-mediated innate immunity in macrophages. Future in vivo studies are necessary in order to explore the potential for developing IFN-?3-based therapy for HIV disease.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The Non-Structural (NS1) protein of Influenza A viruses is an extensively studied multifunctional protein which is commonly considered as key viral component to fight against host immune responses. Even though there has been a lot of studies on the involvement of NS1 protein in host immune responses there are still ambiguities regarding its role in apoptosis in infected cells. Interactions of NS1 protein with host factors, role of NS1 protein in regulating cellular responses and apoptosis are quite complicated and further studies are still needed to understand it completely. RESULTS: NS1 genes of influenza A/Chicken/India/WBNIV2653/2008 (H5N1) and A/Aquatic bird/India/NIV-17095/2007(H11N1) were cloned and expressed in human embryonic kidney (293T) cells. Microarray based approach to study the host cellular responses to NS1 protein of the two influenza A viruses of different pathogenicity showed significant differences in the host gene expression profile. NS1 protein of H5N1 resulted in suppression of IFN-? mediated innate immune responses, leading to down-regulation of the components of JAK-STAT pathway like STAT1 which further suppressed the expression of pro-inflammatory cytokines like CXCL10 and CCL5. The degree of suppression of host immune genes was found considerable with NS1 protein of H11N1 but was not as prominent as with H5N1-NS1. TUNEL assay analyses were found to be positive in both the NS1 transfected cells indicating both H5N1 as well as H11N1 NS1 proteins were able to induce apoptosis in transfected cells. CONCLUSIONS: We propose that NS1 protein of both H5N1 and H11N1 subtypes of influenza viruses are capable of influencing host immune responses and possess necessary functionality to support apoptosis in host cells. H11N1, a low pathogenic virus without any proven evidence to infect mammals, contains a highly potential NS1 gene which might contribute to greater virus virulence in different gene combinations.
Project description:Recently, two new influenza A-like viruses have been discovered in bats, A/little yellow-shouldered bat/Guatemala/060/2010 (HL17NL10) and A/flat-faced bat/Peru/033/2010 (HL18NL11). The hemagglutinin (HA)-like (HL) and neuraminidase (NA)-like (NL) proteins of these viruses lack hemagglutination and neuraminidase activities, despite their sequence and structural homologies with the HA and NA proteins of conventional influenza A viruses. We have now investigated whether the NS1 proteins of the HL17NL10 and HL18NL11 viruses can functionally replace the NS1 protein of a conventional influenza A virus. For this purpose, we generated recombinant influenza A/Puerto Rico/8/1934 (PR8) H1N1 viruses containing the NS1 protein of the PR8 wild-type, HL17NL10, and HL18NL11 viruses. These viruses (r/NS1PR8, r/NS1HL17, and r/NS1HL18, respectively) were tested for replication in bat and nonbat mammalian cells and in mice. Our results demonstrate that the r/NS1HL17 and r/NS1HL18 viruses are attenuated in vitro and in vivo However, the bat NS1 recombinant viruses showed a phenotype similar to that of the r/NS1PR8 virus in STAT1-/- human A549 cells and mice, both in vitro and in vivo systems being unable to respond to interferon (IFN). Interestingly, multiple mouse passages of the r/NS1HL17 and r/NS1HL18 viruses resulted in selection of mutant viruses containing single amino acid mutations in the viral PB2 protein. In contrast to the parental viruses, virulence and IFN antagonism were restored in the selected PB2 mutants. Our results indicate that the NS1 protein of bat influenza A-like viruses is less efficient than the NS1 protein of its conventional influenza A virus NS1 counterpart in antagonizing the IFN response and that this deficiency can be overcome by the influenza virus PB2 protein.IMPORTANCE Significant gaps in our understanding of the basic features of the recently discovered bat influenza A-like viruses HL17NL10 and HL18NL11 remain. The basic biology of these unique viruses displays both similarities to and differences from the basic biology of conventional influenza A viruses. Here, we show that recombinant influenza A viruses containing the NS1 protein from HL17NL10 and HL18NL11 are attenuated. This attenuation was mediated by their inability to antagonize the type I IFN response. However, this deficiency could be compensated for by single amino acid replacements in the PB2 gene. Our results unravel a functional divergence between the NS1 proteins of bat influenza A-like and conventional influenza A viruses and demonstrate an interplay between the viral PB2 and NS1 proteins to antagonize IFN.
Project description:The non-structural protein 1 (NS1) of avian influenza virus was defined as one of the virulent factors. To understand the effect of NS1 protein of influenza virus H5N1 isolated in Thailand on type I (α/β) interferon (IFN) synthesis, five reverse genetic viruses were constructed and used as models. The viruses were generated using NS genomic segment from A/Peurto Rico/8/1934 (H1N1) and four avian influenza viruses isolated from the first outbreak in Thailand. All the viruses have the rest of the genome from A/Peurto Rico/8/1934 (H1N1). The constructed viruses were named (1) NS1 PR8/34, (2) NS1 wild type, (3) NS1 L15FD53G, (4) NS1 N171I and (5) NS1 E71K, respectively. The type I (α/β) IFN gene expression in control and infected primary chicken embryonic fibroblast cells were analyzed by quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The results show that the inhibition of IFN-β gene expression by NS1 wild type infected cells is stronger than NS1 N171I, NS1 E71K, NS1 PR8/34 and NS1 L15FD53G, respectively. The data suggest that the difference of amino acid sequence of NS1 protein contributes to the IFN-β antagonist. In contrast, the difference of the NS1 protein does not influence in the IFN-α antagonistic activity.
Project description:The type I interferon (IFN) system is a first line of defense against viral infections. Viruses have developed various mechanisms to counteract this response. So far, the interferon antagonistic activity of influenza A viruses was mainly observed on the level of IFNbeta gene induction via action of the viral non-structural protein 1 (NS1). Here we present data indicating that influenza A viruses not only suppress IFNbeta gene induction but also inhibit type I IFN signaling through a mechanism involving induction of the suppressor of cytokine signaling-3 (SOCS-3) protein. Our study was based on the observation that in cells that were infected with influenza A virus and subsequently stimulated with IFNalpha/beta, phosphorylation of the signal transducer and activator of transcription protein 1 (STAT1) was strongly reduced. This impaired STAT1 activation was not due to the action of viral proteins but rather appeared to be induced by accumulation of viral 5' triphosphate RNA in the cell. SOCS proteins are potent endogenous inhibitors of Janus kinase (JAK)/STAT signaling. Closer examination revealed that SOCS-3 but not SOCS-1 mRNA levels increase in an RNA- and nuclear factor kappa B (NF-kappaB)-dependent but type I IFN-independent manner early in the viral replication cycle. This direct viral induction of SOCS-3 mRNA and protein expression appears to be relevant for suppression of the antiviral response since in SOCS-3 deficient cells a sustained phosphorylation of STAT1 correlated with elevated expression of type I IFN-dependent genes. As a consequence, progeny virus titers were reduced in SOCS-3 deficient cells or in cells were SOCS-3 expression was knocked-down by siRNA. These data provide the first evidence that influenza A viruses suppress type I IFN signaling on the level of JAK/STAT activation. The inhibitory effect is at least in part due to the induction of SOCS-3 gene expression, which results in an impaired antiviral response.
Project description:UNLABELLED:Influenza A virus (IAV) infection provokes an antiviral response involving the expression of type I and III interferons (IFN) and IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs) in infected cell cultures. However, the spatiotemporal dynamics of the IFN reaction are incompletely understood, as previous studies investigated mainly the population responses of virus-infected cultures, although substantial cell-to-cell variability has been documented. We devised a fluorescence-activated cell sorting-based assay to simultaneously quantify expression of viral antigens and ISGs, such as ISG15, MxA, and IFIT1, in IAV-infected cell cultures at the single-cell level. This approach revealed that seasonal IAV triggers an unexpected asymmetric response, as the major cell populations expressed either viral antigen or ISG, but rarely both. Further investigations identified a role of the viral NS1 protein in blocking ISG expression in infected cells, which surprisingly did not reduce paracrine IFN signaling to noninfected cells. Interestingly, viral ISG control was impaired in cultures infected with avian-origin IAV, including the H7N9 virus from eastern China. This phenotype was traced back to polymorphic NS1 amino acids known to be important for stable binding of the polyadenylation factor CPSF30 and concomitant suppression of host cell gene expression. Most significantly, mutation of two amino acids within the CPSF30 attachment site of NS1 from seasonal IAV diminished the strict control of ISG expression in infected cells and substantially attenuated virus replication. In conclusion, our approach revealed an asymmetric, NS1-dependent ISG induction in cultures infected with seasonal IAV, which appears to be essential for efficient virus propagation. IMPORTANCE:Interferons are expressed by infected cells in response to IAV infection and play important roles in the antiviral immune response by inducing hundreds of interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs). Unlike many previous studies, we investigated the ISG response at the single-cell level, enabling novel insights into this virus-host interaction. Hence, cell cultures infected with seasonal IAV displayed an asymmetric ISG induction that was confined almost exclusively to noninfected cells. In comparison, ISG expression was observed in larger cell populations infected with avian-origin IAV, suggesting a more resolute antiviral response to these strains. Strict control of ISG expression by seasonal IAV was explained by the binding of the viral NS1 protein to the polyadenylation factor CPSF30, which reduces host cell gene expression. Mutational disruption of CPSF30 binding within NS1 concomitantly attenuated ISG control and replication of seasonal IAV, illustrating the importance of maintaining an asymmetric ISG response for efficient virus propagation.
Project description:The replication and pathogenicity of influenza A virus (FLUAV) are controlled in part by the alpha/beta interferon (IFN-alpha/beta) system. This virus-host interplay is dependent on the production of IFN-alpha/beta and on the capacity of the viral nonstructural protein NS1 to counteract the IFN system. Two different mechanisms have been described for NS1, namely, blocking the activation of IFN regulatory factor 3 (IRF3) and blocking posttranscriptional processing of cellular mRNAs. Here we directly compare the abilities of NS1 gene products from three different human FLUAV (H1N1) strains to counteract the antiviral host response. We found that A/PR/8/34 NS1 has a strong capacity to inhibit IRF3 and activation of the IFN-beta promoter but is unable to suppress expression of other cellular genes. In contrast, the NS1 proteins of A/Tx/36/91 and of A/BM/1/18, the virus that caused the Spanish influenza pandemic, caused suppression of additional cellular gene expression. Thus, these NS1 proteins prevented the establishment of an IFN-induced antiviral state, allowing virus replication even in the presence of IFN. Interestingly, the block in gene expression was dependent on a newly described NS1 domain that is important for interaction with the cleavage and polyadenylation specificity factor (CPSF) component of the cellular pre-mRNA processing machinery but is not functional in A/PR/8/34 NS1. We identified the Phe-103 and Met-106 residues in NS1 as being critical for CPSF binding, together with the previously described C-terminal binding domain. Our results demonstrate the capacity of FLUAV NS1 to suppress the antiviral host defense at multiple levels and the existence of strain-specific differences that may modulate virus pathogenicity.