Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
J Virol. 2000 Sep;74(17):7989-96.

Activation of interferon regulatory factor 3 is inhibited by the influenza A virus NS1 protein.

Author information

  • 1Department of Microbiology, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, New York 10029, USA.


We present a novel mechanism by which viruses may inhibit the alpha/beta interferon (IFN-alpha/beta) cascade. The double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) binding protein NS1 of influenza virus is shown to prevent the potent antiviral interferon response by inhibiting the activation of interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF-3), a key regulator of IFN-alpha/beta gene expression. IRF-3 activation and, as a consequence, IFN-beta mRNA induction are inhibited in wild-type (PR8) influenza virus-infected cells but not in cells infected with an isogenic virus lacking the NS1 gene (delNS1 virus). Furthermore, NS1 is shown to be a general inhibitor of the interferon signaling pathway. Inhibition of IRF-3 activation can be achieved by the expression of wild-type NS1 in trans, not only in delNS1 virus-infected cells but also in cells infected with a heterologous RNA virus (Newcastle disease virus). We propose that inhibition of IRF-3 activation by a dsRNA binding protein significantly contributes to the virulence of influenza A viruses and possibly to that of other viruses.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk