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J Biol Chem. 2010 Oct 15;285(42):32064-74. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M110.112458. Epub 2010 Aug 10.

Influenza A virus polymerase inhibits type I interferon induction by binding to interferon beta promoter stimulator 1.

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Department of Bioresources, hHokkaido University Research Center for Zoonosis Control, North 20, West 10 Kita-ku, Sapporo, Hokkaido 001-0020, Japan.


Type I interferons (IFNs) are known to be critical factors in the activation of host antiviral responses and are also important in protection from influenza A virus infection. Especially, the RIG-I- and IPS-1-mediated intracellular type I IFN-inducing pathway is essential in the activation of antiviral responses in cells infected by influenza A virus. Previously, it has been reported that influenza A virus NS1 is involved in the inhibition of this pathway. We show in this report that the influenza A virus utilizes another critical inhibitory mechanism in this pathway. In fact, the viral polymerase complex exhibited an inhibitory activity on IFNβ promoter activation mediated by RIG-I and IPS-1, and this activity was not competitive with the function of NS1. Co-immunoprecipitation analysis revealed that each polymerase subunit bound to IPS-1 in mammalian cells, and each subunit inhibited the activation of IFNβ promoter by IPS-1 independently. In addition, by a combinational expression of each polymerase subunit, IPS-1-induced activation of IFNβ promoter was more efficiently inhibited by the expression of PB2 or PB2-containing complex. Moreover, the expression of PB2 inhibited the transcription of the endogenous IFNβ gene induced after influenza A virus infection. These findings demonstrate that the viral polymerase plays an important role for regulating host anti-viral response through the binding to IPS-1 and inhibition of IFNβ production.

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