The nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain-like receptor pyrin domain-containing 3 (Nlrp3) inflammasome plays an important role in inflammation by controlling the maturation and secretion of the cytokines IL-1? and IL-18 in response to multiple stimuli including pore-forming toxins, particulate matter, and ATP. Although the pathways activated by the latter stimuli lead to a decrease in intracellular K(+) concentration, which is required for inflammasome activation, the mechanism by which microbial RNA activates Nlrp3, remains poorly understood. In this study, we found that cytosolic poly(I:C), but not total RNA from healthy macrophages, macrophages undergoing pyroptosis, or mitochondrial RNA, induces caspase-1 activation and IL-1? release through the Nlrp3 inflammasome. Experiments with macrophages deficient in Tlr3, Myd88, or Trif, indicate that poly(I:C) induces Nlrp3 activation independently of TLR signaling. Further analyses revealed that the cytosolic sensors Rig-I and melanoma differentiation-associated gene 5 act redundantly via the common adaptor mitochondrial antiviral signaling (Mavs) to induce Nlrp3 activation in response to poly(I:C), but not ATP or nigericin. Mechanistically, Mavs triggered membrane permeabilization and K(+) efflux independently of the inflammasome which were required for poly(I:C)-induced Nlrp3 activation. We conclude that poly (I:C) activates the inflammasome through an Mavs-dependent surveillance pathway that converges into a common K(+) lowering step in the cytosol that is essential for the induction of Nlrp3 activation.
Upon activation of Toll-like and RIG-I-like receptor signaling pathways, the transcription factor IRF5 translocates to the nucleus and induces antiviral immune programs. The recent discovery of a homozygous mutation in the immunoregulatory gene guanine exchange factor dedicator of cytokinesis 2 (Dock2mu/mu) in several Irf5-/- mouse colonies has complicated interpretation of immune functions previously ascribed to IRF5. To define the antiviral functions of IRF5 in vivo, we infected backcrossed Irf5-/-×Dock2wt/wt mice (here called Irf5-/- mice) and independently generated CMV-Cre Irf5fl/fl mice with West Nile virus (WNV), a pathogenic neurotropic flavivirus. Compared to congenic wild-type animals, Irf5-/- and CMV-Cre Irf5fl/fl mice were more vulnerable to WNV infection, and this phenotype was associated with increased infection in peripheral organs, which resulted in higher virus titers in the central nervous system. The loss of IRF5, however, was associated with only small differences in the type I interferon response systemically and in the draining lymph node during WNV infection. Instead, lower levels of several other proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines, as well as fewer and less activated immune cells, were detected in the draining lymph node 2 days after WNV infection. WNV-specific antibody responses in Irf5-/- mice also were blunted in the context of live or inactivated virus infection and this was associated with fewer antigen-specific memory B cells and long-lived plasma cells. Our results with Irf5-/- mice establish a key role for IRF5 in shaping the early innate immune response in the draining lymph node, which impacts the spread of virus infection, optimal B cell immunity, and disease pathogenesis.
We report the case of an 87-year-old woman who developed a thrombosis of her external jugular vein after sustaining a proximal humerus fracture managed nonoperatively with a collar and cuff. At review in fracture clinic she was found to have an enlarged external jugular vein which was subsequently found to be thrombosed. Her collar and cuff had been applied very tightly and it was felt by the ENT team to be the cause of the thrombosis of her external jugular vein. She was fully anticoagulated with warfarin after subsequently developing a deep vein thrombosis in the subclavian and axillary veins. She made a full recovery following anticoagulation. In this case, we review the potential causes of this rare and underdiagnosed condition, as well as the usual investigations and treatments. We also review the common complications of this fracture and the alternative treatment options available.
Peripartum cardiomyopathy is a life-threatening cardiac condition affecting pregnant women either late in pregnancy or early in the post-partum period. The latest studies show a dramatic improvement in the mortality rates of women affected with this disorder, which has been correlated with advances in medical therapy for heart failure. However, patients continue to die of this condition. The following case report describes a typical patient with peripartum cardiomyopathy diagnosed on clinical grounds, along with echocardiogram findings of severe systolic dysfunction and global hypokinesis consistent with dilated cardiomyopathy. Emergency cesarean delivery had to be performed for fetal distress. There was significant improvement of the patient's condition with standard pharmacological management for heart failure at the time of discharge. However, five weeks after discharge, fatal cardiac arrest occurred. It is hoped that this article will raise awareness about this rare but potentially fatal condition and promote understanding of its main clinical features, diagnostic criteria, and conventional pharmacological management.
The importance of early thrombolysis in acute myocardial infarction has been highlighted in several large trials. The clinical decision is often taken by physicians who need to take a rapid action with the risk of misdiagnosing non-coronary events that mimic myocardial infarction. Here we describe a case of acute pericarditis in a 37-year-old man whom received thrombolysis and developed a sudden hemorrhagic pericardial effusion that evolved rapidly into a cardiac tamponade. These errors leading to lethal thrombolysis complications have been surprisingly rare; but a correct diagnosis of aortic dissection or hemorrhagic pericarditis needs to be stressed because even after obtaining the correct diagnosis, the prolonged disturbance of hemostasis prevents a rapid therapy being instigated.
The viral determinants governing the varied neuropathogenicity of different West Nile virus (WNV) strains are poorly understood. Here, we generated an infectious clone (WNV-MAD(IC)) of the non-pathogenic strain WNV-MAD78 and compared its replication to that of parental WNV-MAD78 and a WNV-MAD78 infectious clone (WNV-MAD(TX-UTRs)) containing the 5' and 3' untranslated regions (UTRs) of the pathogenic strain WNV-TX. All three viruses replicated at similar rates and caused similar lethality in mice. Thus, the infectious clone is indistinguishable from parental virus in replication and neurovirulence, and the UTRs alone do not account for the increased virulence of WNV-TX compared to WNV-MAD78.
The type I interferon (IFN) signaling response limits infection of many RNA and DNA viruses. To define key cell types that require type I IFN signaling to orchestrate immunity against West Nile virus (WNV), we infected mice with conditional deletions of the type I IFN receptor (IFNAR) gene. Deletion of the Ifnar gene in subsets of myeloid cells resulted in uncontrolled WNV replication, vasoactive cytokine production, sepsis, organ damage, and death that were remarkably similar to infection of Ifnar-/- mice completely lacking type I IFN signaling. In Mavs-/-×Ifnar-/- myeloid cells and mice lacking both Ifnar and the RIG-I-like receptor adaptor gene Mavs, cytokine production was muted despite high levels of WNV infection. Thus, in myeloid cells, viral infection triggers signaling through MAVS to induce proinflammatory cytokines that can result in sepsis and organ damage. Viral pathogenesis was caused in part by massive complement activation, as liver damage was minimized in animals lacking complement components C3 or factor B or treated with neutralizing anti-C5 antibodies. Disease in Ifnar-/- and CD11c Cre+Ifnarf/f mice also was facilitated by the proinflammatory cytokine TNF-?, as blocking antibodies diminished complement activation and prolonged survival without altering viral burden. Collectively, our findings establish the dominant role of type I IFN signaling in myeloid cells in restricting virus infection and controlling pathological inflammation and tissue injury.
In this era of continued emergence of zoonotic virus infections, the rapid development of rodent models represents a critical barrier to public health preparedness, including the testing of antivirus therapy and vaccines. The Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) was recently identified as the causative agent of a severe pneumonia. Given the ability of coronavirus to rapidly adapt to new hosts, a major public health concern is that MERS-CoV will further adapt to replication in humans, triggering a pandemic. No small-animal model for this infection is currently available, but studies suggest that virus entry factors can confer virus susceptibility. Here, we show that mice were sensitized to MERS-CoV infection by prior transduction with adenoviral vectors expressing the human host-cell receptor dipeptidyl peptidase 4. Mice developed a pneumonia characterized by extensive inflammatory-cell infiltration with virus clearance occurring 6-8 d after infection. Clinical disease and histopathological changes were more severe in the absence of type-I IFN signaling whereas the T-cell response was required for virus clearance. Using these mice, we demonstrated the efficacy of a therapeutic intervention (poly I:C) and a potential vaccine [Venezuelan equine encephalitis replicon particles expressing MERS-CoV spike protein]. We also found little protective cross-reactivity between MERS-CoV and the severe acute respiratory syndrome-CoV. Our results demonstrate that this system will be useful for MERS-CoV studies and for the rapid development of relevant animal models for emerging respiratory viral infections.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) causes 350,000 deaths and infects at least 3million people worldwide every year. Currently no vaccine has been developed. Direct-acting antiviral (DAA) drugs with high efficacy for suppressing HCV infection have recently been introduced into the clinic. While DAAs initially required combination therapy with type-1 interferon (IFN) administration for full efficacy and to avoid viral resistance to treatment, new DAA combinations show promise as an IFN-free regimen. However, IFN-free DAA therapy is in its infancy, still to be proven and today is cost-prohibitive for the patient. A major goal in HCV therapy to remove or replace IFN with DAAs or an alternative therapeutic to render virologic response with continued virus sensitivity to DAAs, thus facilitating a cure for infection. Recent advances in our understanding of innate immune responses to HCV have identified new therapeutic targets to combat HCV infection. We discuss how the targeting of innate immune response factors can be harnessed with DAAs to produce new generations of DAA-based HCV therapeutics. This article forms part of a symposium in Antiviral Research on "Hepatitis C: next steps toward global eradication."
Human metapneumovirus (hMPV) is a leading cause of respiratory tract disease in children and is associated with acute bronchiolitis, pneumonia, and asthma exacerbations, yet the mechanisms by which the host immune response to hMPV is regulated are poorly understood. By using gene-deleted neonatal mice, we examined the contributions of the innate receptor signaling molecules interferon (IFN)-? promoter stimulator 1 (IPS-1), IFN regulatory factor (IRF) 3, and IRF7. Viral load in the lungs was markedly greater in IPS-1(-/-) > IRF3/7(-/-) > IRF3(-/-), but not IRF7(-/-), mice compared with wild-type mice. IFN-? and IFN-?2/3 (IL-28A/B) production was attenuated in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid in all factor-deficient mice compared with wild-type mice at 1 day after infection, although IFN-?2/3 was greater in IRF3/7(-/-) mice at 5 days after infection. IRF7(-/-) and IRF3/7(-/-) mice presented with airway eosinophilia, whereas only IRF3/7(-/-) mice developed an exaggerated type 1 and 17 helper T-cell response, characterized by natural killer T-cell and neutrophilic inflammation. Despite having the highest viral load, IPS-1(-/-) mice did not develop a proinflammatory cytokine or granulocytic response to hMPV infection. Our findings demonstrate that IFN-?, but not IFN-?2/3, produced via an IPS-1-IRF3 signaling pathway, is important for hMPV clearance. In the absence of a robust type I IFN-?/? response, targeting the IPS-1 signaling pathway may limit the overexuberant inflammatory response that occurs as a consequence of viral persistence.
In response to viral infection, the host induces over 300 IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs), which are the central component of intracellular antiviral innate immunity. Inefficient induction of ISGs contributes to poor control and persistence of hepatitis C virus infection. Therefore, further understanding of the hepatocytic ISG regulation machinery will guide us to an improved management strategy against hepatitis C virus infection. In this study, comprehensive genome-wide, high-throughput cDNA screening for genes regulating ISG expression identified a tyrosine kinase nonreceptor 1 (TNK1) as a unique player in the ISG induction pathway. The immune-modulatory function of TNK1 has never been studied, and this study characterizes its significance in antiviral innate immunity. TNK1 is abundantly expressed in hepatocytes and maintains basal ISG expression. More importantly, TNK1 plays a critical role in type I IFN-mediated ISG induction. We discovered that the activated IFN receptor complex recruits TNK1 from the cytoplasm. TNK1 is then phosphorylated to enhance its kinase activity. The activated TNK1 potentiates JAK-STAT signaling through dual phosphorylation of STAT1 at tyrosine 701 and serine 727 amino acid positions. Our loss-of-function approach demonstrated that TNK1 governs a cluster of ISG expression that defines the TNK1 pathway effector genes. More importantly, TNK1 abundance is inversely correlated to viral replication efficiency and is also a determinant factor for the hepatocytic response to antiviral treatment. Taken together, our studies found a critical but unidentified integrated component of the IFN-JAK-STAT signaling cascade.
Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells (pDCs) represent a key immune cell population in the defense against viruses. pDCs detect viral pathogen associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) through pattern recognition receptors (PRR). PRR/PAMP interactions trigger signaling events that induce interferon (IFN) production to initiate local and systemic responses. pDCs produce Type I and Type III (IFNL) IFNs in response to HCV RNA. Extracellular HCV core protein (Core) is found in the circulation in chronic infection. This study defined how Core modulates PRR signaling in pDCs. Type I and III IFN expression and production following exposure to recombinant Core or ?-galactosiade was assessed in human GEN2.2 cells, a pDC cell line. Core suppressed type I and III IFN production in response to TLR agonists and the HCV PAMP agonist of RIG-I. Core suppression of IFN induction was linked with decreased IRF-7 protein levels and increased non-phosphorylated STAT1 protein. Circulating Core protein interferes with PRR signaling by pDCs to suppress IFN production. Strategies to define and target Core effects on pDCs may serve to enhance IFN production and antiviral actions against HCV.
Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) infection of hepatocytes leads to transcriptional induction of the chemokine CXCL10, which is considered an interferon (IFN)-stimulated gene. However, we have recently shown that IFNs are not required for CXCL10 induction in hepatocytes during acute HCV infection. Since the CXCL10 promoter contains binding sites for several pro-inflammatory transcription factors, we investigated the contribution of these factors to CXCL10 transcriptional induction during HCV infection in vitro. Wild-type and mutant CXCL10 promoter-luciferase reporter constructs were used to identify critical sites of transcriptional regulation. The proximal IFN Stimulated Response Element (ISRE) and NF-?B binding sites positively regulated CXCL10 transcription during HCV infection as well as following exposure to polyI:C (a TLR3 stimulus) and 5 poly-U HCV RNA from two viral genotypes (a RIG-I stimulus). Conversely, binding sites for AP-1 and C/EBP-? negatively regulated CXCL10 induction in response to TLR3 and RIG-I stimuli, while only C/EBP-? negatively regulated CXCL10 during HCV infection. We also demonstrated that IRF3 is transiently recruited to the proximal ISRE during HCV infection and localizes to the nucleus in HCV-infected primary human hepatocytes. Furthermore, IRF3 activated the CXCL10 promoter independently of type I or type III IFN signaling. The data indicate that sensing of HCV infection by RIG-I and TLR3 leads to direct recruitment of NF-?B and IRF3 to the CXCL10 promoter. Our study expands upon current knowledge regarding the mechanisms of CXCL10 induction in hepatocytes and lays the foundation for additional mechanistic studies that further elucidate the combinatorial and synergistic aspects of immune signaling pathways.
The intracellular innate antiviral response in human cells is an essential component of immunity against virus infection. As obligate intracellular parasites, all viruses must evade the actions of the host cells innate immune response in order to replicate and persist. Innate immunity is induced when pathogen recognition receptors of the host cell sense viral products including nucleic acid as "non-self". This process induces downstream signaling through adaptor proteins to activate latent transcription factors that drive the expression of genes encoding antiviral and immune modulatory effector proteins that restrict virus replication and regulate adaptive immunity. The interferon regulatory factors (IRFs) are transcription factors that play major roles in innate immunity. In particular, IRF3 is activated in response to infection by a range of viruses including RNA viruses, DNA viruses and retroviruses. Among these viruses, human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) remains a major global health problem mediating chronic infection in millions of people wherein recent studies show that viral persistence is linked with the ability of the virus to dysregulate and evade the innate immune response. In this review, we discuss viral pathogen sensing, innate immune signaling pathways and effectors that respond to viral infection, the role of IRF3 in these processes and how it is regulated by pathogenic viruses. We present a contemporary overview of the interplay between HIV-1 and innate immunity, with a focus on understanding how innate immune control impacts infection outcome and disease.
IFNL3, which encodes interferon-?3 (IFN-?3), has received considerable attention in the hepatitis C virus (HCV) field, as many independent genome-wide association studies have identified a strong association between polymorphisms near IFNL3 and clearance of HCV. However, the mechanism underlying this association has remained elusive. In this study, we report the identification of a functional polymorphism (rs4803217) in the 3 untranslated region (UTR) of IFNL3 mRNA that dictated transcript stability. We found that this polymorphism influenced AU-rich element (ARE)-mediated decay (AMD) of IFNL3 mRNA, as well as the binding of HCV-induced microRNAs during infection. Together these pathways mediated robust repression of the unfavorable IFNL3 polymorphism. Our data reveal a previously unknown mechanism by which HCV attenuates the antiviral response and indicate new potential therapeutic targets for HCV treatment.
Virus recognition and response by the innate immune system are critical components of host defense against infection. Activation of cell-intrinsic immunity and optimal priming of adaptive immunity against West Nile virus (WNV), an emerging vector-borne virus, depend on recognition by RIG-I and MDA5, two cytosolic pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) of the RIG-I-like receptor (RLR) protein family that recognize viral RNA and activate defense programs that suppress infection. We evaluated the individual functions of RIG-I and MDA5 both in vitro and in vivo in pathogen recognition and control of WNV. Lack of RIG-I or MDA5 alone results in decreased innate immune signaling and virus control in primary cells in vitro and increased mortality in mice. We also generated RIG-I(-/-) × MDA5(-/-) double-knockout mice and found that a lack of both RLRs results in a complete absence of innate immune gene induction in target cells of WNV infection and a severe pathogenesis during infection in vivo, similar to findings for animals lacking MAVS, the central adaptor molecule for RLR signaling. We also found that RNA products from WNV-infected cells but not incoming virion RNA display at least two distinct pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) containing 5 triphosphate and double-stranded RNA that are temporally distributed and sensed by RIG-I and MDA5 during infection. Thus, RIG-I and MDA5 are essential PRRs that recognize distinct PAMPs that accumulate during WNV replication. Collectively, these experiments highlight the necessity and function of multiple related, cytoplasmic host sensors in orchestrating an effective immune response against an acute viral infection.
Many viruses induce type I interferon responses by activating cytoplasmic RNA sensors, including the RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs). Although two members of the RLR family, RIG-I and MDA5, have been implicated in host control of virus infection, the relative role of each RLR in restricting pathogenesis in vivo remains unclear. Recent studies have demonstrated that MAVS, the adaptor central to RLR signaling, is required to trigger innate immune defenses and program adaptive immune responses, which together restrict West Nile virus (WNV) infection in vivo. In this study, we examined the specific contribution of MDA5 in controlling WNV in animals. MDA5(-/-) mice exhibited enhanced susceptibility, as characterized by reduced survival and elevated viral burden in the central nervous system (CNS) at late times after infection, even though small effects on systemic type I interferon response or viral replication were observed in peripheral tissues. Intracranial inoculation studies and infection experiments with primary neurons ex vivo revealed that an absence of MDA5 did not impact viral infection in neurons directly. Rather, subtle defects were observed in CNS-specific CD8(+) T cells in MDA5(-/-) mice. Adoptive transfer into recipient MDA5(+/+) mice established that a non-cell-autonomous deficiency of MDA5 was associated with functional defects in CD8(+) T cells, which resulted in a failure to clear WNV efficiently from CNS tissues. Our studies suggest that MDA5 in the immune priming environment shapes optimal CD8(+) T cell activation and subsequent clearance of WNV from the CNS.
The type I interferon (IFN) signaling pathway restricts infection of many divergent families of RNA and DNA viruses by inducing hundreds of IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs), some of which have direct antiviral activity. We screened 813 short hairpin RNA (shRNA) constructs targeting 245 human ISGs using a flow cytometry approach to identify genes that modulated infection of West Nile virus (WNV) in IFN-?-treated human cells. Thirty ISGs with inhibitory effects against WNV were identified, including several novel genes that had antiviral activity against related and unrelated positive-strand RNA viruses. We also defined one ISG, activating signal cointegrator complex 3 (ASCC3), which functioned as a negative regulator of the host defense response. Silencing of ASCC3 resulted in upregulation of multiple antiviral ISGs, which correlated with inhibition of infection of several positive-strand RNA viruses. Reciprocally, ectopic expression of human ASCC3 or mouse Ascc3 resulted in downregulation of ISGs and increased viral infection. Mechanism-of-action and RNA sequencing studies revealed that ASCC3 functions to modulate ISG expression in an IRF-3- and IRF-7-dependent manner. Compared to prior ectopic ISG expression studies, our shRNA screen identified novel ISGs that restrict infection of WNV and other viruses and defined a new counterregulatory ISG, ASCC3, which tempers cell-intrinsic immunity.
While 170 million people worldwide are chronically infected with HCV, the response rate to the current treatment regimens of pegylated IFN-? (IFN) in combination with ribavirin is only approximately 55 % of all HCV patients undergoing therapy. This IFN-based therapy is now slated to serve as the backbone for future combination therapeutics involving direct-acting antiviral compounds, including HCV protease inhibitors, viral polymerase inhibitors, and other small molecules. It is essential that the application of IFN be improved for overall enhancement of therapy outcome to effectively cure HCV infection. Systems approaches, including genomics and network modeling, are particularly powerful tools that are now being used to dissect the underlying mechanisms of successful or failed treatment response in an effort to design improved IFN-based therapeutic regimens. Furthermore, systems applications can be used to define virus-host interactions and map their variation within viral and host genomes, leading to identification of targets for novel therapy strategies. Using these approaches, we have defined distinct hepatic expression and tissue distribution of innate immune signaling molecules and gene networks that associate with IFN-based treatment outcome for HCV infection. This chapter will focus on using systems approaches to understand the host response to both HCV infection and therapy to drive the development of improved HCV therapeutics.
Plasmacytoid Dendritic Cells (pDCs) represent a key immune cell in the defense against viruses. Through pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), these cells detect viral pathogen associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) and initiate an Interferon (IFN) response. pDCs produce the antiviral IFNs including the well-studied Type I and the more recently described Type III. Recent genome wide association studies (GWAS) have implicated Type III IFNs in HCV clearance. We examined the IFN response induced in a pDC cell line and ex vivo human pDCs by a region of the HCV genome referred to as the HCV PAMP. This RNA has been shown previously to be immunogenic in hepatocytes, whereas the conserved X-region RNA is not. We show that in response to the HCV PAMP, pDC-GEN2.2 cells upregulate and secrete Type III (in addition to Type I) IFNs and upregulate PRR genes and proteins. We also demonstrate that the recognition of this RNA is dependent on RIG-I-like Receptors (RLRs) and Toll-like Receptors (TLRs), challenging the dogma that RLRs are dispensable in pDCs. The IFNs produced by these cells in response to the HCV PAMP also control HCV replication in vitro. These data are recapitulated in ex vivo pDCs isolated from healthy donors. Together, our data shows that pDCs respond robustly to HCV RNA to make Type III Interferons that control viral replication. This may represent a novel therapeutic strategy for the treatment of HCV.
Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a leading cause of liver disease. Liver inflammation underlies infection-induced fibrosis, cirrhosis and liver cancer but the processes that promote hepatic inflammation by HCV are not defined. We provide a systems biology analysis with multiple lines of evidence to indicate that interleukin-1? (IL-1?) production by intrahepatic macrophages confers liver inflammation through HCV-induced inflammasome signaling. Chronic hepatitis C patients exhibited elevated levels of serum IL-1? compared to healthy controls. Immunohistochemical analysis of healthy control and chronic hepatitis C liver sections revealed that Kupffer cells, resident hepatic macrophages, are the primary cellular source of hepatic IL-1? during HCV infection. Accordingly, we found that both blood monocyte-derived primary human macrophages, and Kupffer cells recovered from normal donor liver, produce IL-1? after HCV exposure. Using the THP-1 macrophage cell-culture model, we found that HCV drives a rapid but transient caspase-1 activation to stimulate IL-1? secretion. HCV can enter macrophages through non-CD81 mediated phagocytic uptake that is independent of productive infection. Viral RNA triggers MyD88-mediated TLR7 signaling to induce IL-1? mRNA expression. HCV uptake concomitantly induces a potassium efflux that activates the NLRP3 inflammasome for IL-1? processing and secretion. RNA sequencing analysis comparing THP1 cells and chronic hepatitis C patient liver demonstrates that viral engagement of the NLRP3 inflammasome stimulates IL-1? production to drive proinflammatory cytokine, chemokine, and immune-regulatory gene expression networks linked with HCV disease severity. These studies identify intrahepatic IL-1? production as a central feature of liver inflammation during HCV infection. Thus, strategies to suppress NLRP3 or IL-1? activity could offer therapeutic actions to reduce hepatic inflammation and mitigate disease.
Social norms have been consistently shown to influence alcohol use among college students. Much of the research in this area is focused on mostly White samples. This study sought to expand our understanding of social norms theory by examining perceptions of normative alcohol use among Black students and determining the impact of the race of reference group members on personal alcohol use. Participants (N=130; 73.8% female) completed an online questionnaire. Results of repeated measures of analysis of variance indicated that participants perceived all referent groups (i.e., White, same race, typical student) as drinking significantly more than they did. Results of hierarchical regression analysis indicated that perceptions of typical student drinking significantly predicted personal alcohol use. Implications for practice and research are discussed.
Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) is an emerging RNA virus with devastating economic and social consequences. Clinically, RVFV induces a gamut of symptoms ranging from febrile illness to retinitis, hepatic necrosis, hemorrhagic fever, and death. It is known that type I interferon (IFN) responses can be protective against severe pathology; however, it is unknown which innate immune receptor pathways are crucial for mounting this response. Using both in vitro assays and in vivo mucosal mouse challenge, we demonstrate here that RNA helicases are critical for IFN production by immune cells and that signaling through the helicase adaptor molecule MAVS (mitochondrial antiviral signaling) is protective against mortality and more subtle pathology during RVFV infection. In addition, we demonstrate that Toll-like-receptor-mediated signaling is not involved in IFN production, further emphasizing the importance of the RNA cellular helicases in type I IFN responses to RVFV.
The actions of the RIG-I like receptor (RLR) and type I interferon (IFN) signaling pathways are essential for a protective innate immune response against the emerging flavivirus West Nile virus (WNV). In mice lacking RLR or IFN signaling pathways, WNV exhibits enhanced tissue tropism, indicating that specific host factors of innate immune defense restrict WNV infection and dissemination in peripheral tissues. However, the immune mechanisms by which the RLR and IFN pathways coordinate and function to impart restriction of WNV infection are not well defined. Using a systems biology approach, we defined the host innate immune response signature and actions that restrict WNV tissue tropism. Transcriptional profiling and pathway modeling to compare WNV-infected permissive (spleen) and nonpermissive (liver) tissues showed high enrichment for inflammatory responses, including pattern recognition receptors and IFN signaling pathways, that define restriction of WNV replication in the liver. Assessment of infected livers from Mavs(-/-) × Ifnar(-/-) mice revealed the loss of expression of several key components within the natural killer (NK) cell signaling pathway, including genes associated with NK cell activation, inflammatory cytokine production, and NK cell receptor signaling. In vivo analysis of hepatic immune cell infiltrates from WT mice demonstrated that WNV infection leads to an increase in NK cell numbers with enhanced proliferation, maturation, and effector action. In contrast, livers from Mavs(-/-) × Ifnar(-/-) infected mice displayed reduced immune cell infiltration, including a significant reduction in NK cell numbers. Analysis of cocultures of dendritic and NK cells revealed both cell-intrinsic and -extrinsic roles for the RLR and IFN signaling pathways to regulate NK cell effector activity. Taken together, these observations reveal a complex innate immune signaling network, regulated by the RLR and IFN signaling pathways, that drives tissue-specific antiviral effector gene expression and innate immune cellular processes that control tissue tropism to WNV infection.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a global public health problem involving chronic infection of the liver, which can cause liver disease and is linked with liver cancer. Viral innate immune evasion strategies and human genetic determinants underlie the transition of acute HCV infection to viral persistence and the support of chronic infection. Host genetic factors, such as sequence polymorphisms in IFNL3, a gene in the host interferon system, can influence both the outcome of the infection and the response to antiviral therapy. Recent insights into how HCV regulates innate immune signaling within the liver reveal a complex interaction of patient genetic background with viral and host factors of innate immune triggering and control that imparts the outcome of HCV infection and immunity.
Although susceptibility of neurons in the brain to microbial infection is a major determinant of clinical outcome, little is known about the molecular factors governing this vulnerability. Here we show that two types of neurons from distinct brain regions showed differential permissivity to replication of several positive-stranded RNA viruses. Granule cell neurons of the cerebellum and cortical neurons from the cerebral cortex have unique innate immune programs that confer differential susceptibility to viral infection ex vivo and in vivo. By transducing cortical neurons with genes that were expressed more highly in granule cell neurons, we identified three interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs; Ifi27, Irg1 and Rsad2 (also known as Viperin)) that mediated the antiviral effects against different neurotropic viruses. Moreover, we found that the epigenetic state and microRNA (miRNA)-mediated regulation of ISGs correlates with enhanced antiviral response in granule cell neurons. Thus, neurons from evolutionarily distinct brain regions have unique innate immune signatures, which probably contribute to their relative permissiveness to infection.
West Nile virus (WNV) is an emerging neurotropic flavivirus that is transmitted to humans through the bite of an infected mosquito. WNV has disseminated broadly in the Western hemisphere and now poses a significant public health risk. The continuing spread of WNV, combined with the lack of specific therapeutics or vaccines to combat or prevent infection, imparts a pressing need to identify the viral and host processes that control the outcome of and immunity to WNV infection. Here, we provide an overview of recent research that has revealed the virus-host interface controlling WNV infection and immunity.
West Nile virus (WNV) is a neurotropic flavivirus that has emerged globally as a significant cause of viral encephalitis in humans. The WNV-induced innate immune response, including production of antiviral cytokines, is critical for controlling virus infection. The adaptor protein ASC mediates a critical step in innate immune signaling by bridging the interaction between the pathogen recognition receptors and caspase 1 in inflammasome complexes, but its role in WNV immunopathogenesis is not defined. Here, we demonstrate that ASC is essential for interleukin-1? (IL-1?) production and development of effective host immunity against WNV. ASC-deficient mice exhibited increased susceptibility to WNV infection, and reduced survival was associated with enhanced virus replication in the peripheral tissues and central nervous system (CNS). Infection of cultured bone marrow-derived dendritic cells showed that ASC was essential for the activation of caspase 1, a key component of inflammasome assembly. ASC(-/-) mice exhibited attenuated levels of proinflammatory cytokines in the serum. Intriguingly, infected ASC(-/-) mice also displayed reduced levels of alpha interferon (IFN-?) and IgM in the serum, indicating the overall protective role of ASC in restricting WNV infection. However, brains from ASC(-/-) mice displayed unrestrained inflammation, including elevated levels of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines, such as IFN-?, CCL2, and CCL5, which correlated with more pronounced activation of the astrocytes, enhanced infiltration of peripheral immune cells in the CNS, and increased neuronal cell death. Collectively, our data provide new insights into the role of ASC as an essential modulator of inflammasome-dependent and -independent immune responses to effectively control WNV infection.
West Nile virus (WNV) is a RNA virus of the family Flaviviridae and the leading cause of mosquito-borne encephalitis in the United States. Humoral immunity is essential for protection against WNV infection; however, the requirements for initiating effective antibody responses against WNV infection are still unclear. CD22 (Siglec-2) is expressed on B cells and regulates B cell receptor signaling, cell survival, proliferation, and antibody production. In this study, we investigated how CD22 contributes to protection against WNV infection and found that CD22 knockout (Cd22(-/-)) mice were highly susceptible to WNV infection and had increased viral loads in the serum and central nervous system (CNS) compared to wild-type (WT) mice. This was not due to a defect in humoral immunity, as Cd22(-/-) mice had normal WNV-specific antibody responses. However, Cd22(-/-) mice had decreased WNV-specific CD8(+) T cell responses compared to those of WT mice. These defects were not simply due to reduced cytotoxic activity or increased cell death but, rather, were associated with decreased lymphocyte migration into the draining lymph nodes (dLNs) of infected Cd22(-/-) mice. Cd22(-/-) mice had reduced production of the chemokine CCL3 in the dLNs after infection, suggesting that CD22 affects chemotaxis via controlling chemokine production. CD22 was not restricted to B cells but was also expressed on a subset of splenic DCIR2(+) dendritic cells that rapidly expand early after WNV infection. Thus, CD22 plays an essential role in controlling WNV infection by governing cell migration and CD8(+) T cell responses.
Although the transcription factors IRF-3 and IRF-7 are considered master regulators of type I interferon (IFN) induction and IFN stimulated gene (ISG) expression, Irf3(-/-)×Irf7(-/-) double knockout (DKO) myeloid dendritic cells (mDC) produce relatively normal levels of IFN-? after viral infection. We generated Irf3(-/-)×Irf5(-/-)×Irf7(-/-) triple knockout (TKO) mice to test whether IRF-5 was the source of the residual induction of IFN-? and ISGs in mDCs. In pathogenesis studies with two unrelated positive-sense RNA viruses (West Nile virus (WNV) and murine norovirus), TKO mice succumbed at rates greater than DKO mice and equal to or approaching those of mice lacking the type I IFN receptor (Ifnar(-/-)). In ex vivo studies, after WNV infection or exposure to Toll-like receptor agonists, TKO mDCs failed to produce IFN-? or express ISGs. In contrast, this response was sustained in TKO macrophages following WNV infection. To define IRF-regulated gene signatures, we performed microarray analysis on WNV-infected mDC from wild type (WT), DKO, TKO, or Ifnar(-/-) mice, as well as from mice lacking the RIG-I like receptor adaptor protein MAVS. Whereas the gene induction pattern in DKO mDC was similar to WT cells, remarkably, almost no ISG induction was detected in TKO or Mavs(-/-) mDC. The relative equivalence of TKO and Mavs(-/-) responses suggested that MAVS dominantly regulates ISG induction in mDC. Moreover, we showed that MAVS-dependent induction of ISGs can occur through an IRF-5-dependent yet IRF-3 and IRF-7-independent pathway. Our results establish IRF-3, -5, and -7 as the key transcription factors responsible for mediating the type I IFN and ISG response in mDC during WNV infection and suggest a novel signaling link between MAVS and IRF-5.
West Nile virus is an emerging virus whose virulence is dependent upon viral evasion of IFN and innate immune defenses. The actions of IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs) impart control of virus infection, but the specific ISGs and regulatory pathways that restrict West Nile virus (WNV) are not defined. Here we show that inhibitor of ?B kinase ? (IKK?) phosphorylation of STAT1 at serine 708 (Ser-708) drives IFIT2 expression to mediate anti-WNV effector function of IFN. WNV infection was enhanced in cells from IKK?(-/-) or IFIT2(-/-) mice. In IKK?(-/-) cells, the loss of IFN-induced IFIT2 expression was linked to lack of STAT1 phosphorylation on Ser-708 but not Tyr-701 nor Ser-727. STAT1 Ser-708 phosphorylation occurs independently of IRF-3 but requires signaling through the IFN-?/? receptor as a late event in the IFN-induced innate immune response that coincides with IKK?-responsive ISGs expression. Biochemical analyses show that STAT1 tyrosine dephosphorylation and CRM1-mediated STAT1 nuclear-cytoplasmic shuttling are required for STAT1 Ser-708 phosphorylation. When compared with WT mice, WNV-infected IKK?(-/-) mice exhibit enhanced kinetics of virus dissemination and increased pathogenesis concomitant with loss of STAT1 Ser-708 phosphorylation and IFIT2 expression. Our results define an IFN-induced IKK? signaling pathway of specific STAT1 phosphorylation and IFIT2 expression that imparts innate antiviral immunity to restrict WNV infection and control viral pathogenesis.
RIG-I is a cytosolic pathogen recognition receptor that engages viral RNA in infected cells to trigger innate immune defenses through its adaptor protein MAVS. MAVS resides on mitochondria and peroxisomes, but how its signaling is coordinated among these organelles has not been defined. Here we show that a major site of MAVS signaling is the mitochondrial-associated membrane (MAM), a distinct membrane compartment that links the endoplasmic reticulum to mitochondria. During RNA virus infection, RIG-I is recruited to the MAM to bind MAVS. Dynamic MAM tethering to mitochondria and peroxisomes then coordinates MAVS localization to form a signaling synapse between membranes. Importantly, the hepatitis C virus NS3/4A protease, which cleaves MAVS to support persistent infection, targets this synapse for MAVS proteolysis from the MAM, but not from mitochondria, to ablate RIG-I signaling of immune defenses. Thus, the MAM mediates an intracellular immune synapse that directs antiviral innate immunity.
Retinoic-acid-inducible gene-I (RIG-I; also known as DDX58) is a cytoplasmic pathogen recognition receptor that recognizes pathogen-associated molecular pattern (PAMP) motifs to differentiate between viral and cellular RNAs. RIG-I is activated by blunt-ended double-stranded (ds)RNA with or without a 5-triphosphate (ppp), by single-stranded RNA marked by a 5-ppp and by polyuridine sequences. Upon binding to such PAMP motifs, RIG-I initiates a signalling cascade that induces innate immune defences and inflammatory cytokines to establish an antiviral state. The RIG-I pathway is highly regulated and aberrant signalling leads to apoptosis, altered cell differentiation, inflammation, autoimmune diseases and cancer. The helicase and repressor domains (RD) of RIG-I recognize dsRNA and 5-ppp RNA to activate the two amino-terminal caspase recruitment domains (CARDs) for signalling. Here, to understand the synergy between the helicase and the RD for RNA binding, and the contribution of ATP hydrolysis to RIG-I activation, we determined the structure of human RIG-I helicase-RD in complex with dsRNA and an ATP analogue. The helicase-RD organizes into a ring around dsRNA, capping one end, while contacting both strands using previously uncharacterized motifs to recognize dsRNA. Small-angle X-ray scattering, limited proteolysis and differential scanning fluorimetry indicate that RIG-I is in an extended and flexible conformation that compacts upon binding RNA. These results provide a detailed view of the role of helicase in dsRNA recognition, the synergy between the RD and the helicase for RNA binding and the organization of full-length RIG-I bound to dsRNA, and provide evidence of a conformational change upon RNA binding. The RIG-I helicase-RD structure is consistent with dsRNA translocation without unwinding and cooperative binding to RNA. The structure yields unprecedented insight into innate immunity and has a broader impact on other areas of biology, including RNA interference and DNA repair, which utilize homologous helicase domains within DICER and FANCM.
Studies with mice lacking the common plasma membrane receptor for type I interferon (IFN-??R(-)(/)(-)) have revealed that IFN signaling restricts tropism, dissemination, and lethality after infection with West Nile virus (WNV) or several other pathogenic viruses. However, the specific functions of individual IFN subtypes remain uncertain. Here, using IFN-?(-)(/)(-) mice, we defined the antiviral and immunomodulatory function of this IFN subtype in restricting viral infection. IFN-?(-)(/)(-) mice were more vulnerable to WNV infection than wild-type mice, succumbing more quickly and with greater overall mortality, although the phenotype was less severe than that of IFN-??R(-)(/)(-) mice. The increased susceptibility of IFN-?(-)(/)(-) mice was accompanied by enhanced viral replication in different tissues. Consistent with a direct role for IFN-? in control of WNV replication, viral titers in ex vivo cultures of macrophages, dendritic cells, fibroblasts, and cerebellar granule cell neurons, but not cortical neurons, from IFN-?(-)(/)(-) mice were greater than in wild-type cells. Although detailed immunological analysis revealed no major deficits in the quality or quantity of WNV-specific antibodies or CD8(+) T cells, we observed an altered CD4(+) CD25(+) FoxP3(+) regulatory T cell response, with greater numbers after infection. Collectively, these results suggest that IFN-? controls WNV pathogenesis by restricting infection in key cell types and by modulating T cell regulatory networks.
The RNA helicase family of RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs) is a key component of host defense mechanisms responsible for detecting viruses and triggering innate immune signaling cascades to control viral replication and dissemination. As cytoplasm-based sensors, RLRs recognize foreign RNA in the cell and activate a cascade of antiviral responses including the induction of type I interferons, inflammasome activation, and expression of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines. This review provides a brief overview of RLR function, ligand interactions, and downstream signaling events with an expanded discussion on the therapeutic potential of targeting RLRs for immune stimulation and treatment of virus infection.
The RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs) RIG-I, MDA5, and LGP2 play a major role in pathogen sensing of RNA virus infection to initiate and modulate antiviral immunity. The RLRs detect viral RNA ligands or processed self RNA in the cytoplasm to trigger innate immunity and inflammation and to impart gene expression that serves to control infection. Importantly, RLRs cooperate in signaling crosstalk networks with Toll-like receptors and other factors to impart innate immunity and to modulate the adaptive immune response. RLR regulation occurs at a variety of levels ranging from autoregulation to ligand and cofactor interactions and posttranslational modifications. Abberant RLR signaling or dysregulation of RLR expression is now implicated in the development of autoimmune diseases. Understanding the processes of RLR signaling and response will provide insights to guide RLR-targeted therapeutics for antiviral and immune-modifying applications.
Many viruses have developed mechanisms to evade the IFN response. Here, HIV-1 was shown to induce a distinct subset of IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs) in monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DCs), without detectable type I or II IFN. These ISGs all contained an IFN regulatory factor 1 (IRF-1) binding site in their promoters, and their expression was shown to be driven by IRF-1, indicating this subset was induced directly by viral infection by IRF-1. IRF-1 and -7 protein expression was enriched in HIV p24 antigen-positive DCs. A HIV deletion mutant with the IRF-1 binding site deleted from the long terminal repeat showed reduced growth kinetics. Early and persistent induction of IRF-1 was coupled with sequential transient up-regulation of its 2 inhibitors, IRF-8, followed by IRF-2, suggesting a mechanism for IFN inhibition. HIV-1 mutants with Vpr deleted induced IFN, showing that Vpr is inhibitory. However, HIV IFN inhibition was mediated by failure of IRF-3 activation rather than by its degradation, as in T cells. In contrast, herpes simplex virus type 2 markedly induced IFN? and a broader range of ISGs to higher levels, supporting the hypothesis that HIV-1 specifically manipulates the induction of IFN and ISGs to enhance its noncytopathic replication in DCs.
Interferon regulatory factor (IRF)-1 is an immunomodulatory transcription factor that functions downstream of pathogen recognition receptor signaling and has been implicated as a regulator of type I interferon (IFN)-?? expression and the immune response to virus infections. However, this role for IRF-1 remains controversial because altered type I IFN responses have not been systemically observed in IRF-1(-/-) mice. To evaluate the relationship of IRF-1 and immune regulation, we assessed West Nile virus (WNV) infectivity and the host response in IRF-1(-/-) cells and mice. IRF-1(-/-) mice were highly vulnerable to WNV infection with enhanced viral replication in peripheral tissues and rapid dissemination into the central nervous system. Ex vivo analysis revealed a cell-type specific antiviral role as IRF-1(-/-) macrophages supported enhanced WNV replication but infection was unaltered in IRF-1(-/-) fibroblasts. IRF-1 also had an independent and paradoxical effect on CD8(+) T cell expansion. Although markedly fewer CD8(+) T cells were observed in naïve animals as described previously, remarkably, IRF-1(-/-) mice rapidly expanded their pool of WNV-specific cytolytic CD8(+) T cells. Adoptive transfer and in vitro proliferation experiments established both cell-intrinsic and cell-extrinsic effects of IRF-1 on the expansion of CD8(+) T cells. Thus, IRF-1 restricts WNV infection by modulating the expression of innate antiviral effector molecules while shaping the antigen-specific CD8(+) T cell response.
Using NOS2 KO mice, we investigated the hypothesis that NO modulation of BM-DC contributes to the NO-mediated control of Th1 immune responses. BM-DCs from NOS2 KO mice, compared with WT BM-DCs, have enhanced survival and responsiveness to TLR agonists, develop more Ly6C(hi)PDCA1(+) DCs that resemble inflammatory DCs and produce high levels of inflammatory cytokines. Also, compared with WT-infected mice, NOS2 KO mice infected with WNV showed enhanced expansion of a similar inflammatory Ly6C(hi)PDCA1(+) DC subset. Furthermore, in contrast to WT DCs, OVA-loaded NOS2 KO BM-DCs promoted increased IFN-? production by OTII CD4(+) T cells in vitro and when adoptively transferred in vivo. The addition of a NO donor to NOS2 KO BM-DCs prior to OTII T cells priming in vivo was sufficient to revert Th1 immune responses to levels induced by WT BM-DCs. Thus, autocrine NO effects on maturation of inflammatory DCs and on DC programming of T cells may contribute to the protective role of NO in autoimmune diseases and infections. Regulating NO levels may be a useful tool to shape beneficial immune responses for DC-based immunotherapy.
Increasing levels of plasmid vector-mediated activation of innate immune signaling pathways is an approach to improve DNA vaccine-induced adaptive immunity for infectious disease and cancer applications. Retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I) is a critical cytoplasmic double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) pattern receptor required for innate immune activation in response to viral infection. Activation of RIG-I leads to type I interferon (IFN) and inflammatory cytokine production through interferon promoter stimulator 1 (IPS-1)-mediated activation of interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3) and NF-?B signaling. DNA vaccines coexpressing antigen and an expressed RNA (eRNA) RIG-I agonist were made, and the effect of RIG-I activation on antigen-specific immune responses to the encoded antigen was determined. Plasmid vector backbones expressing various RIG-I ligands from RNA polymerase III promoters were screened in a cell culture assay for RIG-I agonist activity, and optimized, potent RIG-I ligands were developed. One of these, eRNA41H, combines (i) eRNA11a, an immunostimulatory dsRNA expressed by convergent transcription, with (ii) adenovirus VA RNAI. eRNA41H was integrated into the backbone of DNA vaccine vectors expressing H5N1 influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA). The resultant eRNA vectors potently induced type 1 IFN production in cell culture through RIG-I activation and combined high-level HA antigen expression with RNA-mediated type I IFN activation in a single plasmid vector. The eRNA vectors induced increased HA-specific serum antibody binding avidity after naked DNA intramuscular prime and boost delivery in mice. This demonstrates that DNA vaccine potency may be augmented by the incorporation of RIG-I-activating immunostimulatory RNA into the vector backbone.
Type I interferons (IFN-?/?) control viral infection by triggering the expression of genes that restrict transcription, translation, replication, and assembly. Many viruses induce IFN responses after recognition by cytoplasmic or endosomal RNA sensors (RIG-I-like RNA helicases [RLR] and Toll-like receptors [TLR]), which signal through the cognate adaptor signaling molecules IPS-1, TRIF, and MyD88. Recent studies have demonstrated that IPS-1-dependent induction of IFN-?/? downstream of RLR recognition restricts West Nile virus (WNV) infection in many cell types, whereas TRIF-dependent TLR3 signaling limits WNV replication in neurons. Here, we examined the contribution of MyD88 signaling to the control of WNV by evaluating IFN induction and virus replication in genetically deficient cells and mice. MyD88(-/-) mice showed increased lethality after WNV infection and elevated viral burden primarily in the brain, even though little effect on the systemic type I IFN response was observed. Intracranial inoculation studies corroborated these findings, as WNV spread more rapidly in the central nervous system of MyD88(-/-) mice, and this phenotype preceded the recruitment of inflammatory leukocytes. In vitro, increased WNV replication was observed in MyD88(-/-) macrophages and subsets of neurons but not in myeloid dendritic cells. MyD88 had an independent effect on recruitment of monocyte-derived macrophages and T cells into the brain that was associated with blunted induction of the chemokines that attract leukocytes. Our experiments suggest that MyD88 restricts WNV by inhibiting replication in subsets of cells and modulating expression of chemokines that regulate immune cell migration into the central nervous system.
Triggering and propagating an intracellular innate immune response is essential for control of viral infections. RNase L is a host endoribonuclease and a pivotal component of innate immunity that cleaves viral and cellular RNA within single-stranded loops releasing small structured RNAs with 5-hydroxyl (5-OH) and 3-monophosphoryl (3-p) groups. In 2007, we reported that RNase L cleaves self RNA to produce small RNAs that function as pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs). However, the precise sequence and structure of PAMP RNAs produced by RNase L is unknown. Here we used hepatitis C virus RNA as substrate to characterize RNase L mediated cleavage products [named suppressor of virus RNA (svRNA)] for their ability to activate RIG-I like receptors (RLR). The NS5B region of HCV RNA was cleaved by RNase L to release an svRNA that bound to RIG-I, displacing its repressor domain and stimulating its ATPase activity while signaling to the IFN-? gene in intact cells. All three of these RIG-I functions were dependent on the presence in svRNA of the 3-p. Furthermore, svRNA suppressed HCV replication in vitro through a mechanism involving IFN production and triggered a RIG-I-dependent hepatic innate immune response in mice. RNase L and OAS (required for its activation) were both expressed in hepatocytes from HCV-infected patients, raising the possibility that the OAS/RNase L pathway might suppress HCV replication in vivo. It is proposed that RNase L mediated cleavage of HCV RNA generates svRNA that activates RIG-I, thus propagating innate immune signaling to the IFN-? gene.
Exposure to hepatitis C virus (HCV) usually results in persistent infection that often develops into chronic liver disease. Interferon-alpha (IFN) treatment comprises the foundation of current approved therapy for chronic HCV infection but is limited in overall efficacy. IFN is a major effector of innate antiviral immunity and is naturally produced in response to viral infection when viral pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) are recognized as nonself and are bound by cellular pathogen recognition receptors (PRRs), including Toll-like receptors (TLRs) and the RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs). Within hepatocytes, RIG-I is a major PRR of HCV infection wherein PAMP interactions serve to trigger intracellular signaling cascades in the infected hepatocyte to drive IFN production and the expression of interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs). ISGs function to limit virus replication, modulate the immune system, and to suppress virus spread. However, studies of HCV-host interactions have revealed several mechanisms of innate immune regulation and evasion that feature virus control of PRR signaling and regulation of hepatic innate immune programs that may provide a molecular basis for viral persistence.
As with many viruses, rabies virus (RABV) infection induces type I interferon (IFN) production within the infected host cells. However, RABV has evolved mechanisms by which to inhibit IFN production in order to sustain infection. Here we show that RABV infection of dendritic cells (DC) induces potent type I IFN production and DC activation. Although DCs are infected by RABV, the viral replication is highly suppressed in DCs, rendering the infection non-productive. We exploited this finding in bone marrow derived DCs (BMDC) in order to differentiate which pattern recognition receptor(s) (PRR) is responsible for inducing type I IFN following infection with RABV. Our results indicate that BMDC activation and type I IFN production following a RABV infection is independent of TLR signaling. However, IPS-1 is essential for both BMDC activation and IFN production. Interestingly, we see that the BMDC activation is primarily due to signaling through the IFNAR and only marginally induced by the initial infection. To further identify the receptor recognizing RABV infection, we next analyzed BMDC from Mda-5-/- and RIG-I-/- mice. In the absence of either receptor, there is a significant decrease in BMDC activation at 12h post infection. However, only RIG-I-/- cells exhibit a delay in type I IFN production. In order to determine the role that IPS-1 plays in vivo, we infected mice with pathogenic RABV. We see that IPS-1-/- mice are more susceptible to infection than IPS-1+/+ mice and have a significantly increased incident of limb paralysis.
Cellular messenger RNA (mRNA) of higher eukaryotes and many viral RNAs are methylated at the N-7 and 2-O positions of the 5 guanosine cap by specific nuclear and cytoplasmic methyltransferases (MTases), respectively. Whereas N-7 methylation is essential for RNA translation and stability, the function of 2-O methylation has remained uncertain since its discovery 35 years ago. Here we show that a West Nile virus (WNV) mutant (E218A) that lacks 2-O MTase activity was attenuated in wild-type primary cells and mice but was pathogenic in the absence of type I interferon (IFN) signalling. 2-O methylation of viral RNA did not affect IFN induction in WNV-infected fibroblasts but instead modulated the antiviral effects of IFN-induced proteins with tetratricopeptide repeats (IFIT), which are interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs) implicated in regulation of protein translation. Poxvirus and coronavirus mutants that lacked 2-O MTase activity similarly showed enhanced sensitivity to the antiviral actions of IFN and, specifically, IFIT proteins. Our results demonstrate that the 2-O methylation of the 5 cap of viral RNA functions to subvert innate host antiviral responses through escape of IFIT-mediated suppression, and suggest an evolutionary explanation for 2-O methylation of cellular mRNA: to distinguish self from non-self RNA. Differential methylation of cytoplasmic RNA probably serves as an example for pattern recognition and restriction of propagation of foreign viral RNA in host cells.
The immune response to virus infection is initiated when pathogen recognition receptors (PRRs) of the host cell recognize specific nonself-motifs within viral products (known as a pathogen-associated molecular pattern or PAMP) to trigger intracellular signaling events that induce innate immunity, the front line of defense against microbial infection. The replication program of all viruses includes a cytosolic phase of genome amplification and/or mRNA metabolism and viral protein expression. Cytosolic recognition of viral infection by specific PRRs takes advantage of the dependence of viruses on the cytosolic component of their replication programs. Such PRR-PAMP interactions lead to PRR-dependent nonself-recognition and the downstream induction of type I interferons and proinflammatory cytokines. These factors serve to induce innate immune programs and drive the maturation of adaptive immunity and inflammation for the control of infection. Recent studies have focused on identifying the particular viral ligands recognized as nonself by cytosolic PRRs, and on defining the nature of the PRRs and their signaling pathways involved in immunity. The RIG-I-like receptors, RIG-I and MDA5, have been defined as essential PRRs for host detection of a variety of RNA viruses. Novel PRRs and their signaling pathways involved in detecting DNA viruses through nonself-recognition of viral DNA are also being elucidated. Moreover, studies to identify the PRRs and signaling factors of the host cell that mediate inflammatory signaling through inflammasome activation following virus infection are currently underway and have already revealed specific NOD-like receptors (NLRs) as inflammatory triggers. This review summarizes recent progress and current areas of focus in pathogen recognition and immune triggering by cytosolic PRRs.
The innate immune response is essential for controlling West Nile virus (WNV) infection but how this response is propagated and regulates adaptive immunity in vivo are not defined. Herein, we show that IPS-1, the central adaptor protein to RIG-I-like receptor (RLR) signaling, is essential for triggering of innate immunity and for effective development and regulation of adaptive immunity against pathogenic WNV. IPS-1(-/-) mice exhibited increased susceptibility to WNV infection marked by enhanced viral replication and dissemination with early viral entry into the CNS. Infection of cultured bone-marrow (BM) derived dendritic cells (DCs), macrophages (Macs), and primary cortical neurons showed that the IPS-1-dependent RLR signaling was essential for triggering IFN defenses and controlling virus replication in these key target cells of infection. Intriguingly, infected IPS-1(-/-) mice displayed uncontrolled inflammation that included elevated systemic type I IFN, proinflammatory cytokine and chemokine responses, increased numbers of inflammatory DCs, enhanced humoral responses marked by complete loss of virus neutralization activity, and increased numbers of virus-specific CD8+ T cells and non-specific immune cell proliferation in the periphery and in the CNS. This uncontrolled inflammatory response was associated with a lack of regulatory T cell expansion that normally occurs during acute WNV infection. Thus, the enhanced inflammatory response in the absence of IPS-1 was coupled with a failure to protect against WNV infection. Our data define an innate/adaptive immune interface mediated through IPS-1-dependent RLR signaling that regulates the quantity, quality, and balance of the immune response to WNV infection.
Virus infection elicits a robust innate antiviral response dominated by the production of type 1 IFN. In nonprofessional innate immune cells such as fibroblasts, type 1 IFN is rapidly produced following the recognition of viral dsRNA and the subsequent activation of the constitutively expressed transcription factor IFN regulatory factor 3 (IRF3). Although origin, localization, and length are factors in mediating dsRNA recognition and binding by cellular dsRNA-binding proteins, the biological significance of differential dsRNA binding is unclear, since the subsequent signaling pathways converge on IRF3. In this study, we show a dsRNA length-dependent activation of IRFs, IFNs, and IFN-stimulated genes in mouse fibroblasts. The length dependence was exacerbated in fibroblasts deficient in the mitochondria-associated adaptor IFN-beta promoter stimulator 1 and IRF3, suggesting that antiviral gene induction mediated by short and long dsRNA molecules is predominantly IFN-beta promoter stimulator 1 and IRF3 dependent and independent, respectively. Furthermore, we provide evidence of an innate antiviral response in fibroblasts in the absence of both IRF3 and type 1 IFN induction. Even with these key modulators missing, a 60-90% inhibition of virus replication was observed following 24-h treatment with short or long dsRNA molecules, respectively. These data provide evidence of a novel antiviral pathway that is dependent on dsRNA length, but independent of the type 1 IFN system.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a global public health problem that mediates a persistent infection in nearly 200 million people. HCV is efficient in establishing chronicity due in part to the inefficiency of the host immune system in controlling and counteracting HCV-mediated evasion strategies. HCV persistence is linked to the ability of the virus to suppress the RIG-I pathway and interferon production from infected hepatocytes, thus evading innate immune defenses within the infected cell. This review describes the virus and host processes that regulate the RIG-I pathway during HCV infection. An understanding of these HCV-host interactions could lead to more effective therapies for HCV designed to reactivate the host immune response following HCV infection.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) quasispecies diversity is more likely to affect early viral decline during treatment of hepatitis C than is having human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection. We evaluated the influence of HCV therapy on changes in the nonstructural 5A (NS5A) protein.
Interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF-3) is essential for innate intracellular immune defenses that limit virus replication, but these defenses fail to suppress human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, which can ultimately associate with opportunistic coinfections and the progression to AIDS. Here, we examined antiviral defenses in CD4+ cells during virus infection and coinfection, revealing that HIV type 1 (HIV-1) directs a global disruption of innate immune signaling and supports a coinfection model through suppression of IRF-3. T cells responded to paramyxovirus infection to activate IRF-3 and interferon-stimulated gene expression, but they failed to mount a response against HIV-1. The lack of response associated with a marked depletion of IRF-3 but not IRF-7 in HIV-1-infected cells, which supported robust viral replication, whereas ectopic expression of active IRF-3 suppressed HIV-1 infection. IRF-3 depletion was dependent on a productive HIV-1 replication cycle and caused the specific disruption of Toll-like receptor and RIG-I-like receptor innate immune signaling that rendered cells permissive to secondary virus infection. IRF-3 levels were reduced in vivo within CD4+ T cells from patients with acute HIV-1 infection but not from long-term nonprogressors. Our results indicate that viral suppression of IRF-3 promotes HIV-1 infection by disrupting IRF-3-dependent signaling pathways and innate antiviral defenses of the host cell. IRF-3 may direct an innate antiviral response that regulates HIV-1 replication and viral set point while governing susceptibility to opportunistic virus coinfections.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major cause of liver disease. HCV associates with host apolipoproteins and enters hepatocytes through complex processes involving some combination of CD81, claudin-1, occludin, and scavenger receptor BI. Here we show that infectious HCV resembles very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) and that entry involves co-receptor function of the low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDL-R). Blocking experiments demonstrate that beta-VLDL itself or anti-apolipoprotein E (apoE) antibody can block HCV entry. Knockdown of the LDL-R by treatment with 25-hydroxycholesterol or siRNA ablated ligand uptake and reduced HCV infection of cells, whereas infection was rescued upon cell ectopic LDL-R expression. Analyses of gradient-fractionated HCV demonstrate that apoE is associated with HCV virions exhibiting peak infectivity and dependence upon the LDL-R for cell entry. Our results define the LDL-R as a cooperative HCV co-receptor that supports viral entry and infectivity through interaction with apoE ligand present in an infectious HCV/lipoprotein complex comprising the virion. Disruption of HCV/LDL-R interactions by altering lipoprotein metabolism may therefore represent a focus for future therapy.
A wide variety of stimuli induce the inflammasome, but little is known about its role in immune protection against viruses. In this issue of Immunity, Allen et al. (2009) and Thomas et al. (2009) describe a critical role for NLRP3 induction of the inflammasome and protection against influenza virus infection.
As a first line of defense after viral infection, host cells develop an intrinsic immune response to control virus dissemination and protect against serious infection. Recent experiments have shown a dominant role of the IFN-alpha/beta response in protection against lethal West Nile virus (WNV) by limiting the cellular and tissue tropism of infection. This review will focus on advances in identifying the host sensors that detect WNV and the adaptor molecules and signaling pathways that regulate the induction of IFN-alpha/beta defenses that limit WNV replication, spread and pathogenesis.
Signalling pathways leading to type I interferon production are the first line of defence employed by the host to combat viruses, and represent a barrier that an invading virus must overcome in order to establish infection. In this review we highlight the ability of two members of the Flaviviridae, a globally distributed family of RNA viruses that represent a significant public health concern, to disrupt and evade these defences. Hepatitis C virus is a hepatotropic virus, infecting greater than 170 million people worldwide, while West Nile virus is a neurotropic virus that causes encephalitis in humans and horses. While these viruses cause distinct disease phenotypes, the ability of pathogenic strains to modulate the innate immune response is a key factor in influencing disease outcome. Both viruses have evolved unique strategies to target various aspects of type I interferon induction and signalling in order to prevent viral clearance and to promote virus replication.
Interferon regulatory factors (IRF)-3 and IRF-7 are master transcriptional factors that regulate type I IFN gene (IFN-alpha/beta) induction and innate immune defenses after virus infection. Prior studies in mice with single deletions of the IRF-3 or IRF-7 genes showed increased vulnerability to West Nile virus (WNV) infection. Whereas mice and cells lacking IRF-7 showed reduced IFN-alpha levels after WNV infection, those lacking IRF-3 or IRF-7 had relatively normal IFN-b production. Here, we generated IRF-3(-/-)x IRF-7(-/-) double knockout (DKO) mice, analyzed WNV pathogenesis, IFN responses, and signaling of innate defenses. Compared to wild type mice, the DKO mice exhibited a blunted but not abrogated systemic IFN response and sustained uncontrolled WNV replication leading to rapid mortality. Ex vivo analysis showed complete ablation of the IFN-alpha response in DKO fibroblasts, macrophages, dendritic cells, and cortical neurons and a substantial decrease of the IFN-beta response in DKO fibroblasts and cortical neurons. In contrast, the IFN-beta response was minimally diminished in DKO macrophages and dendritic cells. However, pharmacological inhibition of NF-kappaB and ATF-2/c-Jun, the two other known components of the IFN-beta enhanceosome, strongly reduced IFN-beta gene transcription in the DKO dendritic cells. Finally, a genetic deficiency of IPS-1, an adaptor involved in RIG-I- and MDA5-mediated antiviral signaling, completely abolished the IFN-beta response after WNV infection. Overall, our experiments suggest that, unlike fibroblasts and cortical neurons, IFN-beta gene regulation after WNV infection in myeloid cells is IPS-1-dependent but does not require full occupancy of the IFN-beta enhanceosome by canonical constituent transcriptional factors.
West Nile virus (WNV) is an emerging flavivirus capable of infecting the central nervous system (CNS) and mediating neuronal cell death and tissue destruction. The processes that promote inflammation and encephalitis within the CNS are important for control of WNV disease but, how inflammatory signaling pathways operate to control CNS infection is not defined. Here, we identify IL-1? signaling and the NLRP3 inflammasome as key host restriction factors involved in viral control and CNS disease associated with WNV infection. Individuals presenting with acute WNV infection displayed elevated levels of IL-1? in their plasma over the course of infection, suggesting a role for IL-1? in WNV immunity. Indeed, we found that in a mouse model of infection, WNV induced the acute production of IL-1? in vivo, and that animals lacking the IL-1 receptor or components involved in inflammasome signaling complex exhibited increased susceptibility to WNV pathogenesis. This outcome associated with increased accumulation of virus within the CNS but not peripheral tissues and was further associated with altered kinetics and magnitude of inflammation, reduced quality of the effector CD8(+) T cell response and reduced anti-viral activity within the CNS. Importantly, we found that WNV infection triggers production of IL-1? from cortical neurons. Furthermore, we found that IL-1? signaling synergizes with type I IFN to suppress WNV replication in neurons, thus implicating antiviral activity of IL-1? within neurons and control of virus replication within the CNS. Our studies thus define the NLRP3 inflammasome pathway and IL-1? signaling as key features controlling WNV infection and immunity in the CNS, and reveal a novel role for IL-1? in antiviral action that restricts virus replication in neurons.
Autophagy is an important component of the innate immune response, directly destroying many intracellular pathogens. However, some pathogens, including several RNA viruses, subvert the autophagy pathway, or components of the pathway, to facilitate their replication. In the present study, the effect of inhibiting autophagy on the growth of dengue virus was tested using a novel inhibitor, spautin-1 (specific and potent autophagy inhibitor 1). Inhibition of autophagy by spautin-1 generated heat-sensitive, noninfectious dengue virus particles, revealing a large effect of components of the autophagy pathway on viral maturation. A smaller effect on viral RNA accumulation was also observed. Conversely, stimulation of autophagy resulted in increased viral titers and pathogenicity in the mouse. We conclude that the presence of functional autophagy components facilitates viral RNA replication and, more importantly, is required for infectious dengue virus production. Pharmacological inhibition of host processes is an attractive antiviral strategy to avoid selection of treatment-resistant variants, and inhibitors of autophagy may prove to be valuable therapeutics against dengue virus infection and pathogenesis.
In patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, interferon alfa (IFN-?) alters expression of IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs), but little is understood about factors that determine outcomes of therapy. We used a systems biology approach to evaluate the acute response of patients with chronic hepatitis C to IFN-? therapy.
The AR86 strain of Sindbis virus causes lethal neurologic disease in adult mice. Previous studies have identified a virulence determinant at nonstructural protein (nsP) 1 position 538 that regulates neurovirulence, modulates clearance from the CNS, and interferes with the type I interferon pathway. The studies herein demonstrate that in the absence of type I interferon signaling, the attenuated mutant exhibited equivalent virulence to S300 virus. Furthermore, both S300 and nsP1 T538I viruses displayed similar neurovirulence and replication kinetics in IPS-1-/- mice. TRIF dependent signaling played a modest role in protecting against disease by both S300 and nsP1 T538I, but did not contribute to control of nsP1 T538I replication within the CNS, while MyD88 played no role in the disease process. These results indicate that the control of the nsP1 T538I mutant virus is largely mediated by IPS-1-dependent RLR signaling, with TRIF-dependent TLR signaling also contributing to protection from virus-induced neurologic disease.
Type 1 interferon (IFN) continues to be the foundation for the current standard of care combination therapy for chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, yet the component interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs) that mediate the antiviral actions of IFN are not fully defined. Interferon-induced transmembrane protein 1 (IFITM1) is an ISG product that suppresses early stage infection by a number of viruses through an unknown mechanism of action. Moreover, the actions of IFITM1 on HCV infection are not fully elucidated. Here we identify IFITM1 as a hepatocyte tight junction protein and a potent anti-HCV effector molecule. IFITM1 expression is induced early during IFN treatment of hepatocytes and accumulates at hepatic tight junctions in HCV-infected human patient liver during IFN therapy. Additionally, we found that IFITM1 interacts with HCV coreceptors, including CD81 and occludin, to disrupt the process of viral entry. Thus, IFITM1 is an anti-HCV ISG whose actions impart control of HCV infection through interruption of viral coreceptor function.
Respiratory viral infection, including respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) and rhinovirus, has been linked to respiratory disease in pediatric patients, including severe acute bronchiolitis and asthma exacerbation.
Viral infection of mammalian cells triggers the innate immune response through non-self recognition of pathogen associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) in viral nucleic acid. Accurate PAMP discrimination is essential to avoid self recognition that can generate autoimmunity, and therefore should be facilitated by the presence of multiple motifs in a PAMP that mark it as non-self. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) RNA is recognized as non-self by RIG-I through the presence of a 5-triphosphate (5-ppp) on the viral RNA in association with a 3 poly-U/UC tract. Here we define the HCV PAMP and the criteria for RIG-I non-self discrimination of HCV by examining the RNA structure-function attributes that impart PAMP function to the poly-U/UC tract. We found that the 34 nucleotide poly-uridine "core" of this sequence tract was essential for RIG-I activation, and that interspersed ribocytosine nucleotides between poly-U sequences in the RNA were required to achieve optimal RIG-I signal induction. 5-ppp poly-U/UC RNA variants that stimulated strong RIG-I activation efficiently bound purified RIG-I protein in vitro, and RNA interaction with both the repressor domain and helicase domain of RIG-I was required to activate signaling. When appended to 5-ppp RNA that lacks PAMP activity, the poly-U/UC U-core sequence conferred non-self recognition of the RNA and innate immune signaling by RIG-I. Importantly, HCV poly-U/UC RNA variants that strongly activated RIG-I signaling triggered potent anti-HCV responses in vitro and hepatic innate immune responses in vivo using a mouse model of PAMP signaling. These studies define a multi-motif PAMP signature of non-self recognition by RIG-I that incorporates a 5-ppp with poly-uridine sequence composition and length. This HCV PAMP motif drives potent RIG-I signaling to induce the innate immune response to infection. Our studies define a basis of non-self discrimination by RIG-I and offer insights into the antiviral therapeutic potential of targeted RIG-I signaling activation.
The RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs) signal innate immune defenses upon RNA virus infection, but their roles in adaptive immunity have not been clearly defined. Here, we showed that the RLR LGP2 was not essential for induction of innate immune defenses, but rather was required for controlling antigen-specific CD8(+) T cell survival and fitness during peripheral T cell-number expansion in response to virus infection. Adoptive transfer and biochemical studies demonstrated that T cell-receptor signaling induced LGP2 expression wherein LGP2 operated to regulate death-receptor signaling and imparted sensitivity to CD95-mediated cell death. Thus, LGP2 promotes an essential prosurvival signal in response to antigen stimulation to confer CD8(+) T cell-number expansion and effector functions against divergent RNA viruses, including West Nile virus and lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus.
LGP2, a member of the RIG-I-like receptor family, lacks the amino-terminal caspase activation recruitment domains (CARDs) required for initiating the activation of interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3) and interferon (IFN) transcription. The role of LGP2 in virus infection is controversial, and the only LGP2 experiments previously carried out with mammalian influenza A viruses employed an attenuated, mouse-adapted H1N1 A/PR/8/34 (PR8) virus that does not encode the NS1 protein. Here we determine whether LGP2 has a role during infection with wild-type, nonattenuated influenza A viruses that have circulated in the human population, specifically two types of seasonal influenza A viruses: (i) H3N2 and H1N1 viruses that activate IRF3 and IFN transcription and (ii) recent H1N1 viruses that block these two activations. In human cells infected with an H3N2 virus that activates IRF3, overexpression of LGP2 or its repressor domain decreased STAT1 activation and IFN-? transcription approximately 10-fold. Overexpression of LGP2 also caused a 10-fold decrease of STAT1 activation during infection with other seasonal influenza A viruses that activate IRF3. Using LGP2(+/+) and LGP2(-/-) mouse cells, we show that endogenous LGP2 decreased IFN production during H3N2 virus infection 3- to 4-fold. In contrast, in both mouse and human cells infected with H1N1 viruses that do not activate IRF3, LGP2 had no detectable role. These results demonstrate that LGP2 downregulates IFN production during infection by seasonal influenza A viruses that activate IRF3 and IFN transcription. It is intriguing that LGP2, a host protein induced during influenza A virus infection, downregulates the host antiviral IFN response.
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) infections can produce severe disease and mortality. Here we show that CHIKV infection of adult mice deficient in interferon response factors 3 and 7 (IRF3/7(-/-)) is lethal. Mortality was associated with undetectable levels of alpha/beta interferon (IFN-?/?) in serum, ?50- and ?10-fold increases in levels of IFN-? and tumor necrosis factor (TNF), respectively, increased virus replication, edema, vasculitis, hemorrhage, fever followed by hypothermia, oliguria, thrombocytopenia, and raised hematocrits. These features are consistent with hemorrhagic shock and were also evident in infected IFN-?/? receptor-deficient mice. In situ hybridization suggested CHIKV infection of endothelium, fibroblasts, skeletal muscle, mononuclear cells, chondrocytes, and keratinocytes in IRF3/7(-/-) mice; all but the latter two stained positive in wild-type mice. Vaccination protected IRF3/7(-/-) mice, suggesting that defective antibody responses were not responsible for mortality. IPS-1- and TRIF-dependent pathways were primarily responsible for IFN-?/? induction, with IRF7 being upregulated >100-fold in infected wild-type mice. These studies suggest that inadequate IFN-?/? responses following virus infection can be sufficient to induce hemorrhagic fever and shock, a finding with implications for understanding severe CHIKV disease and dengue hemorrhagic fever/dengue shock syndrome.
West Nile virus (WNV) is an enveloped positive-stranded RNA virus that has emerged over the past decade in North America to cause epidemics of meningitis, encephalitis, and acute flaccid paralysis in humans. WNV has broad species specificity, and replicates efficiently in many cell types, including those of the innate immune and central nervous systems. Recent studies have defined the pathogen recognition receptor (PRR) and signaling pathways by which WNV is detected, and several effector mechanisms that contribute to protective cell-intrinsic immunity. This review focuses on recent advances in identifying the host sensors that detect WNV, the adaptor molecules and signaling pathways that regulate the induction of interferon (IFN)-dependent defenses, and the proteins that limit WNV replication, spread, and disease pathogenesis.
Interferon regulatory factor-3 (IRF-3) is a master transcription factor that drives the host intracellular innate immune response to virus infection. The importance of IRF-3 in innate immune responses is highlighted by the fact that pathogenic viruses have developed strategies for antagonism of IRF-3. Several tools exist for evaluation of viral regulation of IRF-3 activation and function, but high-quality monoclonal antibodies that mark the differential activation states of human IRF-3 are lacking. To study IRF-3 activation, turnover, and depletion in a high-throughput manner in the context of virus infection, we have developed two new monoclonal antibodies to human IRF-3. These antibodies detect IRF-3 in virus-infected cells in a wide variety of assays and provide a new tool to study virus-host interactions and innate immune signaling.
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