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Activation of the RLR/MAVS Signaling Pathway by the L Protein of Mopeia Virus.

ABSTRACT: The family Arenaviridae includes several important human pathogens that can cause severe hemorrhagic fever and greatly threaten public health. As a major component of the innate immune system, the RLR/MAVS signaling pathway is involved in recognizing viral components and initiating antiviral activity. It has been reported that arenavirus infection can suppress the innate immune response, and NP and Z proteins of pathogenic arenaviruses can disrupt RLR/MAVS signaling, thus inhibiting production of type I interferon (IFN-I). However, recent studies have shown elevated IFN-I levels in certain arenavirus-infected cells. The mechanism by which arenavirus infection induces IFN-I responses remains unclear. In this study, we determined that the L polymerase (Lp) of Mopeia virus (MOPV), an Old World (OW) arenavirus, can activate the RLR/MAVS pathway and thus induce the production of IFN-I. This activation is associated with the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase activity of Lp. This study provides a foundation for further studies of interactions between arenaviruses and the innate immune system and for the elucidation of arenavirus pathogenesis. IMPORTANCE:Distinct innate immune responses are observed when hosts are infected with different arenaviruses. It has been widely accepted that NP and certain Z proteins of arenaviruses inhibit the RLR/MAVS signaling pathway. The viral components responsible for the activation of the RLR/MAVS signaling pathway remain to be determined. In the current study, we demonstrate for the first time that the Lp of MOPV, an OW arenavirus, can activate the RLR/MAVS signaling pathway and thus induce the production of IFN-I. Based on our results, we proposed that dynamic interactions exist among Lp-produced RNA, NP, and the RLR/MAVS signaling pathway, and the outcome of these interactions may determine the final IFN-I response pattern: elevated or reduced. Our study provides a possible explanation for how IFN-I can become activated during arenavirus infection and may help us gain insights into the interactions that form between different arenavirus components and the innate immune system.

PROVIDER: S-EPMC5105661 | BioStudies |

REPOSITORIES: biostudies

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