Drosophila RNAi screen identifies host genes important for influenza virus replication.
ABSTRACT: All viruses rely on host cell proteins and their associated mechanisms to complete the viral life cycle. Identifying the host molecules that participate in each step of virus replication could provide valuable new targets for antiviral therapy, but this goal may take several decades to achieve with conventional forward genetic screening methods and mammalian cell cultures. Here we describe a novel genome-wide RNA interference (RNAi) screen in Drosophila that can be used to identify host genes important for influenza virus replication. After modifying influenza virus to allow infection of Drosophila cells and detection of influenza virus gene expression, we tested an RNAi library against 13,071 genes (90% of the Drosophila genome), identifying over 100 for which suppression in Drosophila cells significantly inhibited or stimulated reporter gene (Renilla luciferase) expression from an influenza-virus-derived vector. The relevance of these findings to influenza virus infection of mammalian cells is illustrated for a subset of the Drosophila genes identified; that is, for three implicated Drosophila genes, the corresponding human homologues ATP6V0D1, COX6A1 and NXF1 are shown to have key functions in the replication of H5N1 and H1N1 influenza A viruses, but not vesicular stomatitis virus or vaccinia virus, in human HEK 293 cells. Thus, we have demonstrated the feasibility of using genome-wide RNAi screens in Drosophila to identify previously unrecognized host proteins that are required for influenza virus replication. This could accelerate the development of new classes of antiviral drugs for chemoprophylaxis and treatment, which are urgently needed given the obstacles to rapid development of an effective vaccine against pandemic influenza and the probable emergence of strains resistant to available drugs.
Project description:Influenza virus causes epidemics and sporadic pandemics resulting in morbidity, mortality, and economic losses. Influenza viruses require host genes to replicate. RNA interference (RNAi) screens can identify host genes coopted by influenza virus for replication. Targeting these proinfluenza genes can provide therapeutic strategies to reduce virus replication. Nineteen proinfluenza G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) and 13 proinfluenza ion channel genes were identified in human lung (A549) cells by use of small interfering RNAs (siRNAs). These proinfluenza genes were authenticated by testing influenza virus A/WSN/33-, A/CA/04/09-, and B/Yamagata/16/1988-infected A549 cells, resulting in the validation of 16 proinfluenza GPCR and 5 proinfluenza ion channel genes. These findings showed that several GPCR and ion channel genes are needed for the production of infectious influenza virus. These data provide potential targets for the development of host-directed therapeutic strategies to impede the influenza virus productive cycle so as to limit infection.<b>IMPORTANCE</b> Influenza epidemics result in morbidity and mortality each year. Vaccines are the most effective preventive measure but require annual reformulation, since a mismatch of vaccine strains can result in vaccine failure. Antiviral measures are desirable particularly when vaccines fail. In this study, we used RNAi screening to identify several GPCR and ion channel genes needed for influenza virus replication. Understanding the host genes usurped by influenza virus during viral replication can help identify host genes that can be targeted for drug repurposing or for the development of antiviral drugs. The targeting of host genes is refractory to drug resistance generated by viral mutations, as well as providing a platform for the development of broad-spectrum antiviral drugs.
Project description:Influenza viruses cause epidemics and pandemics. Like all viruses, influenza viruses rely on the host cellular machinery to support their life cycle. Accordingly, identification of the host functions co-opted for viral replication is of interest to understand the mechanisms of the virus life cycle and to find new targets for the development of antiviral compounds. Among the various approaches used to explore host factor involvement in the influenza virus replication cycle, perhaps the most powerful is RNAi-based genome-wide screening, which has shed new light on the search for host factors involved in virus replication. In this review, we examine the cellular genes identified to date as important for influenza virus replication in genome-wide screens, assess pathways that were repeatedly identified in these studies, and discuss how these pathways might be involved in the individual steps of influenza virus replication, ultimately leading to a comprehensive understanding of the virus life cycle.
Project description:Influenza A virus infections are important causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide, and currently available prevention and treatment methods are suboptimal. In recent years, genome-wide investigations have revealed numerous host factors that are required for influenza to successfully complete its life cycle. However, only a select, small number of influenza strains were evaluated using this platform, and there was considerable variation in the genes identified across different investigations. In an effort to develop a universally efficacious therapeutic strategy with limited potential for the emergence of resistance, this study was performed to investigate the effect of combinatorial RNA interference (RNAi) on inhibiting the replication of diverse influenza A virus subtypes and strains. Candidate genes were selected for targeting based on the results of multiple previous independent genome-wide studies. The effect of single and combinatorial RNAi on the replication of 12 diverse influenza A viruses, including three strains isolated from birds and one strain isolated from seals, was then evaluated in primary normal human bronchial epithelial cells. After excluding overly toxic siRNA, two siRNA combinations were identified that reduced mean viral replication by greater than 79 percent in all mammalian strains, and greater than 68 percent in all avian strains. Host-directed combinatorial RNAi effectively prevents growth of a broad range of influenza virus strains in vitro, and is a potential therapeutic candidate for further development and future in vivo studies.
Project description:<h4>Unlabelled</h4>Influenza A virus (IAV) depends on cellular factors to complete its replication cycle; thus, investigation of the factors utilized by IAV may facilitate antiviral drug development. To this end, a cellular transcriptional repressor, DR1, was identified from a genome-wide RNA interference (RNAi) screen. Knockdown (KD) of DR1 resulted in reductions of viral RNA and protein production, demonstrating that DR1 acts as a positive host factor in IAV replication. Genome-wide transcriptomic analysis showed that there was a strong induction of interferon-stimulated gene (ISG) expression after prolonged DR1 KD. We found that beta interferon (IFN-?) was induced by DR1 KD, thereby activating the JAK-STAT pathway to turn on ISG expression, which led to a strong inhibition of IAV replication. This result suggests that DR1 in normal cells suppresses IFN induction, probably to prevent undesired cytokine production, but that this suppression may create a milieu that favors IAV replication once cells are infected. Furthermore, biochemical assays of viral RNA replication showed that DR1 KD suppressed viral RNA replication. We also showed that DR1 associated with all three subunits of the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) complex, indicating that DR1 may interact with individual components of the viral RdRp complex to enhance viral RNA replication. Thus, DR1 may be considered a novel host susceptibility gene for IAV replication via a dual mechanism, not only suppressing the host defense to indirectly favor IAV replication but also directly facilitating viral RNA replication.<h4>Importance</h4>Investigations of virus-host interactions involved in influenza A virus (IAV) replication are important for understanding viral pathogenesis and host defenses, which may manipulate influenza virus infection or prevent the emergence of drug resistance caused by a high error rate during viral RNA replication. For this purpose, a cellular transcriptional repressor, DR1, was identified from a genome-wide RNAi screen as a positive regulator in IAV replication. In the current studies, we showed that DR1 suppressed the gene expression of a large set of host innate immunity genes, which indirectly facilitated IAV replication in the event of IAV infection. Besides this scenario, DR1 also directly enhanced the viral RdRp activity, likely through associating with individual components of the viral RdRp complex. Thus, DR1 represents a novel host susceptibility gene for IAV replication via multiple functions, not only suppressing the host defense but also enhancing viral RNA replication. DR1 may be a potential target for drug development against influenza virus infection.
Project description:Recent RNA interference (RNAi) studies have identified many host proteins that modulate virus infection, but small interfering RNA 'off-target' effects and the use of transformed cell lines limit their conclusiveness. As murine embryonic stem (mES) cells can be genetically modified and resources exist where many and eventually all known mouse genes are insertionally inactivated, it was reasoned that mES cells would provide a useful alternative to RNAi screens. Beyond allowing investigation of host-pathogen interactions in vitro, mES cells have the potential to differentiate into other primary cell types, as well as being used to generate knockout mice for in vivo studies. However, mES cells are poorly characterized for virus infection. To investigate whether ES cells can be used to explore host-virus interactions, this study characterized the responses of mES cells following infection by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and influenza A virus. HSV-1 replicated lytically in mES cells, although mES cells were less permissive than most other cell types tested. Influenza virus was able to enter mES cells and express some viral proteins, but the replication cycle was incomplete and no infectious virus was produced. Knockdown of the host protein AHCYL1 in mES cells reduced HSV-1 replication, showing the potential for using mES cells to study host-virus interactions. Transcriptional profiling, however, indicated the lack of an efficient innate immune response in these cells. mES cells may thus be useful to identify host proteins that play a role in virus replication, but they are not suitable to determine factors that are involved in innate host defence.
Project description:In recent years genome-wide RNAi screens have revealed hundreds of cellular factors required for influenza virus infections in human cells. The long-term goal is to establish some of them as drug targets for the development of the next generation of antivirals against influenza. We found that several members of the polo-like kinases (PLK), a family of serine/threonine kinases with well-known roles in cell cycle regulation, were identified as hits in four different RNAi screens and we therefore studied their potential as drug target for influenza. We show that knockdown of PLK1, PLK3, and PLK4, as well as inhibition of PLK kinase activity by four different compounds, leads to reduced influenza virus replication, and we map the requirement of PLK activity to early stages of the viral replication cycle. We also tested the impact of the PLK inhibitor BI2536 on influenza virus replication in a human lung tissue culture model and observed strong inhibition of virus replication with no measurable toxicity. This study establishes the PLKs as potential drug targets for influenza and contributes to a more detailed understanding of the intricate interactions between influenza viruses and their host cells.
Project description:Responding to an influenza A virus (IAV) infection demands an effective intrinsic cellular defense strategy to slow replication. To identify contributing host factors to this defense, we exploited the host microRNA pathway to perform an in vivo RNAi screen. To this end, IAV, lacking a functional NS1 antagonist, was engineered to encode individual siRNAs against antiviral host genes in an effort to rescue attenuation. This screening platform resulted in the enrichment of strains targeting virus-activated transcription factors, specific antiviral effectors, and intracellular pattern recognition receptors (PRRs). Interestingly, in addition to RIG-I, the PRR for IAV, a virus with the capacity to silence MDA5 also emerged as a dominant strain in wild-type, but not in MDA5-deficient mice. Transcriptional profiling of infected knockout cells confirmed RIG-I to be the primary PRR for IAV but implicated MDA5 as a significant contributor to the cellular defense against influenza A virus.
Project description:Influenza virus causes seasonal epidemics and sporadic pandemics resulting in morbidity, mortality, and economic losses worldwide. Understanding how to regulate influenza virus replication is important for developing vaccine and therapeutic strategies. Identifying microRNAs (miRs) that affect host genes used by influenza virus for replication can support an antiviral strategy. In this study, G-protein coupled receptor (GPCR) and ion channel (IC) host genes in human alveolar epithelial (A549) cells used by influenza virus for replication (Orr-Burks <i>et al.</i>, 2021) were examined as miR target genes following A/CA/04/09- or B/Yamagata/16/1988 replication. Thirty-three miRs were predicted to target GPCR or IC genes and their miR mimics were evaluated for their ability to decrease influenza virus replication. Paired miR inhibitors were used as an ancillary measure to confirm or not the antiviral effects of a miR mimic. Fifteen miRs lowered influenza virus replication and four miRs were found to reduce replication irrespective of virus strain and type differences. These findings provide evidence for novel miR disease intervention strategies for influenza viruses.
Project description:Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are defined as RNA molecules longer than 200 nucleotides that can regulate gene expression at the transcriptional or post-transcriptional levels. Both human lncRNAs and lncRNAs encoded by viruses can modulate the expression of host genes which are critical for viral replication, latency, activation of signalling pathways, cytokine and chemokine production, RNAi processing, expression of interferons (IFNs) and interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs). Studies on lncRNAs as key regulators of host-virus interactions may give new insights into therapeutic strategies for the treatment of related diseases. This current review focuses on the role of lncRNAs, and their interactions with respiratory viruses including influenza A virus (IAV), respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2).
Project description:Influenza A virus causes seasonal epidemics and periodic pandemics threatening the health of millions of people each year. Vaccination is an effective strategy for reducing morbidity and mortality, and in the absence of drug resistance, the efficacy of chemoprophylaxis is comparable to that of vaccines. However, the rapid emergence of drug resistance has emphasized the need for new drug targets. Knowledge of the host cell components required for influenza replication has been an area targeted for disease intervention. In this study, the human protease genes required for influenza virus replication were determined and validated using RNA interference approaches. The genes validated as critical for influenza virus replication were ADAMTS7, CPE, DPP3, MST1, and PRSS12, and pathway analysis showed these genes were in global host cell pathways governing inflammation (NF-?B), cAMP/calcium signaling (CRE/CREB), and apoptosis. Analyses of host microRNAs predicted to govern expression of these genes showed that eight miRNAs regulated gene expression during virus replication. These findings identify unique host genes and microRNAs important for influenza replication providing potential new targets for disease intervention strategies.