UL26 Attenuates IKK?-Mediated Induction of Interferon-Stimulated Gene (ISG) Expression and Enhanced Protein ISGylation during Human Cytomegalovirus Infection.
ABSTRACT: Viruses must negotiate cellular antiviral responses in order to replicate. Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a prevalent betaherpesvirus that encodes a number of viral gene products that modulate cellular antiviral signaling. The HCMV UL26 gene has previously been found to attenuate cytokine-activated NF-?B signaling, yet the role that UL26 plays in modulating the host cell's global transcriptional response to infection is not clear. Here, we find that infection with a UL26 deletion virus (?UL26) induces a proinflammatory transcriptional environment that includes substantial increases in the expression of cytokine signaling genes relative to wild-type HCMV. These increases include NF-?B-regulated genes as well as interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs), such as ISG15 and bone marrow stromal cell antigen 2 (BST2). The ?UL26 mutant-mediated induction of ISG15 expression was found to drive increases in global protein ISGylation during ?UL26 mutant infection. However, short hairpin RNA (shRNA) and CRISPR-mediated targeting of ISG15 indicated that its induction does not restrict HCMV infection. In contrast, shRNA-mediated targeting of BST2 demonstrated that BST2 restricts HCMV cell-to-cell spread. In addition, the increased expression of both of these ISGs and the global enhancement in protein ISGylation were found to be dependent on the activity of the canonical inhibitor of NF-?B kinase beta (IKK?). Both CRISPR-based and pharmacologically mediated inhibition of IKK? blocked the induction of ISG15 and BST2. These results suggest significant cross-talk between the NF-?B and interferon signaling pathways and highlight the importance of IKK signaling and the HCMV UL26 protein in shaping the antiviral response to HCMV.IMPORTANCE Modulation of cellular antiviral signaling is a key determinant of viral pathogenesis. Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a significant source of morbidity in neonates and the immunosuppressed that contains many genes that modulate antiviral signaling, yet how these genes contribute to shaping the host cell's transcriptional response to infection is largely unclear. Our results indicate that the HCMV UL26 protein is critical in preventing the establishment of a broad cellular proinflammatory transcriptional environment. Further, we find that the host gene IKK? is an essential determinant governing the host cell's antiviral transcriptional response. Given their importance to viral pathogenesis, continuing to elucidate the functional interactions between viruses and the cellular innate immune response could enable the development of therapeutic strategies to limit viral infection.
Project description:Interferon-stimulated gene 15 (ISG15) encodes an ubiquitin-like protein that covalently conjugates protein. Protein modification by ISG15 (ISGylation) is known to inhibit the replication of many viruses. However, studies on the viral targets and viral strategies to regulate ISGylation-mediated antiviral responses are limited. In this study, we show that human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) replication is inhibited by ISGylation, but the virus has evolved multiple countermeasures. HCMV-induced ISG15 expression was mitigated by IE1, a viral inhibitor of interferon signaling, however, ISGylation was still strongly upregulated during virus infection. RNA interference of UBE1L (E1), UbcH8 (E2), Herc5 (E3), and UBP43 (ISG15 protease) revealed that ISGylation inhibits HCMV growth by downregulating viral gene expression and virion release in a manner that is more prominent at low multiplicity of infection. A viral regulator pUL26 was found to interact with ISG15, UBE1L, and Herc5, and be ISGylated. ISGylation of pUL26 regulated its stability and inhibited its activities to suppress NF-?B signaling and complement the growth of UL26-null mutant virus. Moreover, pUL26 reciprocally suppressed virus-induced ISGylation independent of its own ISGylation. Consistently, ISGylation was more pronounced in infections with the UL26-deleted mutant virus, whose growth was more sensitive to IFN? treatment than that of the wild-type virus. Therefore, pUL26 is a viral ISG15 target that also counteracts ISGylation. Our results demonstrate that ISGylation inhibits HCMV growth at multiple steps and that HCMV has evolved countermeasures to suppress ISG15 transcription and protein ISGylation, highlighting the importance of the interplay between virus and ISGylation in productive viral infection.
Project description:Interferon-induced BST2/Tetherin prevents budding of vpu-deficient HIV-1 by tethering mature viral particles to the plasma membrane. BST2 also inhibits release of other enveloped viruses including Ebola virus and Kaposi's sarcoma associated herpesvirus (KSHV), indicating that BST2 is a broadly acting antiviral host protein. Unexpectedly however, recovery of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) from supernatants of BST2-expressing human fibroblasts was increased rather than decreased. Furthermore, BST2 seemed to enhance viral entry into cells since more virion proteins were released into BST2-expressing cells and subsequent viral gene expression was elevated. A significant increase in viral entry was also observed upon induction of endogenous BST2 during differentiation of the pro-monocytic cell line THP-1. Moreover, treatment of primary human monocytes with siRNA to BST2 reduced HCMV infection, suggesting that BST2 facilitates entry of HCMV into cells expressing high levels of BST2 either constitutively or in response to exogenous stimuli. Since BST2 is present in HCMV particles we propose that HCMV entry is enhanced via a reverse-tethering mechanism with BST2 in the viral envelope interacting with BST2 in the target cell membrane. Our data suggest that HCMV not only counteracts the well-established function of BST2 as inhibitor of viral egress but also employs this anti-viral protein to gain entry into BST2-expressing hematopoietic cells, a process that might play a role in hematogenous dissemination of HCMV.
Project description:Accumulation of the interferon-stimulated gene 15 (ISG15) protein product, which is reversibly conjugated to numerous polypeptide targets, impacts the proteome and physiology of uninfected and infected cells. While many viruses, including human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), blunt host antiviral defenses by limiting ISG expression, the overall abundance of ISG15 monomer and protein conjugates rises in HCMV-infected cells. However, the molecular signals underlying ISG15 accumulation and whether the ISG15 polypeptide itself influences HCMV infection biology remain unknown. Here, we establish that the ISG15 gene product itself directly regulates HCMV replication and that its accumulation restricts productive virus growth. Although ISG15 monomer and protein conjugate accumulation was induced in cells infected with UV-inactivated HCMV, it was subsequently reduced, but not eliminated, by an immediate-early (IE) or early (E) virus-encoded function(s). Instead, HCMV-induced ISG15 monomer and protein conjugate accumulation was dependent upon the double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) sensor cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS), the innate immune adaptor STING, and interferon signaling. Significantly, dsDNA itself was sufficient to induce cGAS-, STING-, and interferon signaling-dependent ISG15 monomer and conjugate protein accumulation in uninfected cells. Accumulation of ISGylated proteins in uninfected cells treated with dsDNA was prevented by expressing the HCMV multifunctional IE1 transactivator. This demonstrates that expression of a single host interferon-stimulated gene, ISG15, restricts HCMV replication, and that IE1 is sufficient to blunt ISGylation in response to dsDNA sensing in uninfected cells. Moreover, it establishes that ISGylation modifies the proteomes of virus-infected and uninfected normal cells in response to cell-intrinsic dsDNA sensing dependent upon cGAS-STING.IMPORTANCE By antagonizing type I interferon production and action, many viruses, including human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), evade host defenses. However, levels of the interferon-induced ISG15 protein, which is covalently conjugated to host and viral proteins, increase in HCMV-infected cells. How ISG15 accumulation is regulated and whether the ISG15 polypeptide influences HCMV replication remain unknown. This study establishes that ISG15 itself restricts HCMV replication and that HCMV-induced ISG15 accumulation is triggered by host defenses that detect cytoplasmic double-stranded DNA (dsDNA). Remarkably, dsDNA triggered ISG15 accumulation even in uninfected cells, and this was reduced by HCMV IE1 expression. This shows that ISG15 itself controls the replication of HCMV, which causes life-threatening disease among the immunocompromised and is a significant source of congenital morbidity and mortality among newborns. Moreover, it demonstrates that ISG15 modifies the uninfected cell proteome in response to dsDNA, potentially impacting responses to DNA vaccines, gene therapy, and autoimmune disease pathogenesis.
Project description:Cellular receptor-mediated signaling pathways play critical roles during the initial immune response to Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection. However, the involvement of type-I transmembrane glycoprotein CD147/EMMPRIN (extracellular matrix metalloproteinase inducer) in the antiviral response to HCMV infection is still unknown. Here, we demonstrated the specific knockdown of CD147 significantly decreased HCMV-induced activation of NF-?B and Interferon-beta (IFN-?), which contribute to the cellular antiviral responses. Next, we confirmed that HCMV-encoded miR-US25-1-5p could target the 3' UTR (Untranslated Region) of CD147 mRNA, and thus facilitate HCMV lytic propagation at a low multiplicity of infection (MOI). The expression and secretion of Cyclophilin A (sCyPA), as a ligand for CD147 and a proinflammatory cytokine, were up-regulated in response to HCMV stimuli. Finally, we confirmed that CD147 mediated HCMV-triggered antiviral signaling via the sCyPA-CD147-ERK (extracellular regulated protein kinases)/NF-?B axis signaling pathway. These findings reveal an important HCMV mechanism for evading antiviral innate immunity through its encoded microRNA by targeting transmembrane glycoprotein CD147, and a potential cause of HCMV inflammatory disorders due to the secretion of proinflammatory cytokine CyPA.
Project description:Induction of nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain 2 (NOD2) and downstream receptor-interacting serine/threonine-protein kinase 2 (RIPK2) by human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is known to up-regulate antiviral responses and suppress virus replication. We investigated the role of nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain 1 (NOD1), which also signals through RIPK2, in HCMV control. NOD1 activation by Tri-DAP (NOD1 agonist) suppressed HCMV and induced IFN-?. Mouse CMV was also inhibited through NOD1 activation. NOD1 knockdown (KD) or inhibition of its activity with small molecule ML130 enhanced HCMV replication in vitro. NOD1 mutations displayed differential effects on HCMV replication and antiviral responses. In cells overexpressing the E56K mutation in the caspase activation and recruitment domain, virus replication was enhanced, but in cells overexpressing the E266K mutation in the nucleotide-binding domain or the wild-type NOD1, HCMV was inhibited, changes that correlated with IFN-? expression. The interaction of NOD1 and RIPK2 determined the outcome of virus replication, as evidenced by enhanced virus growth in NOD1 E56K mutant cells (which failed to interact with RIPK2). NOD1 activities were executed through IFN-?, given that IFN-? KD reduced the inhibitory effect of Tri-DAP on HCMV. Signaling through NOD1 resulting in HCMV suppression was IKK?-dependent and correlated with nuclear translocation and phosphorylation of IRF3. Finally, NOD1 polymorphisms were significantly associated with the risk of HCMV infection in women who were infected with HCMV during participation in a glycoprotein B vaccine trial. Collectively, our data indicate a role for NOD1 in HCMV control via RIPK2- IKK?-IRF3 and suggest that its polymorphisms predict the risk of infection.
Project description:Inflammation is a major factor in heart disease. I?B kinase (IKK) and its downstream target NF-?B are regulators of inflammation and are activated in cardiac disorders, but their precise contributions and targets are unclear. We analyzed IKK/NF-?B function in the heart by a gain-of-function approach, generating an inducible transgenic mouse model with cardiomyocyte-specific expression of constitutively active IKK2. In adult animals, IKK2 activation led to inflammatory dilated cardiomyopathy and heart failure. Transgenic hearts showed infiltration with CD11b(+) cells, fibrosis, fetal reprogramming, and atrophy of myocytes with strong constitutively active IKK2 expression. Upon transgene inactivation, the disease was reversible even at an advanced stage. IKK-induced cardiomyopathy was dependent on NF-?B activation, as in vivo expression of I?B? superrepressor, an inhibitor of NF-?B, prevented the development of disease. Gene expression and proteomic analyses revealed enhanced expression of inflammatory cytokines, and an IFN type I signature with activation of the IFN-stimulated gene 15 (ISG15) pathway. In that respect, IKK-induced cardiomyopathy resembled Coxsackievirus-induced myocarditis, during which the NF-?B and ISG15 pathways were also activated. Vice versa, in cardiomyocytes lacking the regulatory subunit of IKK (IKK?/NEMO), the induction of ISG15 was attenuated. We conclude that IKK/NF-?B activation in cardiomyocytes is sufficient to cause cardiomyopathy and heart failure by inducing an excessive inflammatory response and myocyte atrophy.
Project description:Ubiquitin (Ub) and interferon-stimulated gene product 15 (ISG15) reversibly conjugate to proteins and mediate important innate antiviral responses. The ovarian tumor (OTU) domain represents a superfamily of predicted proteases found in eukaryotic, bacterial, and viral proteins, some of which have Ub-deconjugating activity. We show that the OTU domain-containing proteases from nairoviruses and arteriviruses, two unrelated groups of RNA viruses, hydrolyze Ub and ISG15 from cellular target proteins. This broad activity contrasts with the target specificity of known mammalian OTU domain-containing proteins. Expression of a viral OTU domain-containing protein antagonizes the antiviral effects of ISG15 and enhances susceptibility to Sindbis virus infection in vivo. We also show that viral OTU domain-containing proteases inhibit NF-kappaB-dependent signaling. Thus, the deconjugating activity of viral OTU proteases represents a unique viral strategy to inhibit Ub- and ISG15-dependent antiviral pathways.
Project description:BST2 is a host protein with dual functions in response to viral infections: it traps newly assembled enveloped virions at the plasma membrane in infected cells, and it induces NF-?B activity, especially in the context of retroviral assembly. In this study, we examined whether Ebola virus proteins affect BST2-mediated induction of NF-?B. We found that the Ebola virus matrix protein, VP40, and envelope glycoprotein, GP, each cooperate with BST2 to induce NF-?B activity, with maximal activity when all three proteins are expressed. Unlike human immunodeficiency virus type 1 Vpu protein, which antagonizes both virion entrapment and the activation of NF-?B by BST2, Ebola virus GP does not inhibit NF-?B signaling even while it antagonizes the entrapment of virus-like particles. GP from Reston ebolavirus, a nonpathogenic species in humans, showed a phenotype similar to that of GP from Zaire ebolavirus, a highly pathogenic species, in terms of both the activation of NF-?B and the antagonism of virion entrapment. Although Ebola virus VP40 and GP both activate NF-?B independently of BST2, VP40 is the more potent activator. Activation of NF-?B by the Ebola virus proteins either alone or together with BST2 requires the canonical NF-?B signaling pathway. Mechanistically, the maximal NF-?B activation by GP, VP40, and BST2 together requires the ectodomain cysteines needed for BST2 dimerization, the putative BST2 tetramerization residue L70, and Y6 of a potential hemi-ITAM motif in BST2's cytoplasmic domain. BST2 with a glycosylphosphatidylinositol (GPI) anchor signal deletion, which is not expressed at the plasma membrane and is unable to entrap virions, activated NF-?B in concert with the Ebola virus proteins at least as effectively as wild-type BST2. Signaling by the GPI anchor mutant also depended on Y6 of BST2. Overall, our data show that activation of NF-?B by BST2 is independent of virion entrapment in the case of Ebola virus. Nonetheless, BST2 may induce or amplify proinflammatory signaling during Ebola virus infection, potentially contributing to the dysregulated cytokine response that is a hallmark of Ebola virus disease.IMPORTANCE Understanding how the host responds to viral infections informs the development of therapeutics and vaccines. We asked how proinflammatory signaling by the host protein BST2/tetherin, which is mediated by the transcription factor NF-?B, responds to Ebola virus proteins. Although the Ebola virus envelope glycoprotein (GP1,2) antagonizes the trapping of newly formed virions at the plasma membrane by BST2, we found that it does not inhibit BST2's ability to induce NF-?B activity. This distinguishes GP1,2 from the HIV-1 protein Vpu, the prototype BST2 antagonist, which inhibits both virion entrapment and the induction of NF-?B activity. Ebola virus GP1,2, the Ebola virus matrix protein VP40, and BST2 are at least additive with respect to the induction of NF-?B activity. The effects of these proteins converge on an intracellular signaling pathway that depends on a protein modification termed neddylation. Better mechanistic understanding of these phenomena could provide targets for therapies that modulate the inflammatory response during Ebola virus disease.
Project description:Nuclear factor-?B (NF-?B) plays a central role in the regulation of diverse biological processes, including immune responses, development, cell growth, and cell survival. To establish persistent infection, many viruses have evolved strategies to evade the host's antiviral immune defenses. In the case of hepatitis B virus (HBV), which can cause chronic infection in the liver, immune evasion strategies used by the virus are not fully understood. It has recently been reported that the polymerase of HBV (Pol) inhibits interferon-? (IFN-?) activity by disrupting the interaction between IKK? and the DDX3. In the current study, we found that HBV Pol suppressed NF-?B signaling, which can also contribute to IFN-? production. HBV Pol did not alter the level of NF-?B expression, but it prevented NF-?B subunits involved in both the canonical and non-canonical NF-?B pathways from entering the nucleus. Further experiments demonstrated that HBV Pol preferentially suppressed the activity of the I?B kinase (IKK) complex by disrupting the association of IKK/NEMO with Cdc37/Hsp90, which is critical for the assembly of the IKK complex and recruitment of the IKK complex to the tumor necrosis factor type 1 receptor (TNF-R1). Furthermore, we found that HBV Pol inhibited the NF-?B-mediated transcription of target genes. Taken together, it is suggested that HBV Pol could counteract host innate immune responses by interfering with two distinct signaling pathways required for IFN-? activation. Our studies therefore shed light on a potential therapeutic target for persistent infection with HBV.
Project description:HCMV is a common pathogen for human with relatively high prevalence, which could be life-threatened in immunodeficient patients and lead to significant birth defects in newborns. In this study, we firstly report that HCMV infection significantly enhances the expression of microRNA-221 (miR-221) in Neural Precursor Cells (NPCs). We found that miR-221 directly targets at the 3'-UTR of suppressor of cytokine signaling 1 (SOCS1) and suppresses SOCS1 expression at the both mRNA and protein levels. MiR-221 overexpression restrained HCMV replication by promoting type I interferon (IFN) and interferon stimulating genes (ISGs) production, whereas reintroduction of SOCS1 abrogated the miR-221-induced effects on HCMV replication. Importantly, miR-221 positively regulated the phosphorylation and activation of NF-?B by suppressing SOCS1. What's more, miR-221 agomir alleviated MCMV-induced tissue injury by promoting type I IFN antiviral activities in vivo. Thus, miR-221 modulates the infection and replication of HCMV as an intrinsic antiviral factor, and could be developed as a treatment target for anti-HCMV treatment.