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Curr Top Microbiol Immunol. 2012;359:123-52. doi: 10.1007/82_2012_209.

Nipah and hendra virus interactions with the innate immune system.

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


Nipah virus and Hendra virus are related, highly pathogenic paramyxoviruses with unusually broad host ranges. Henipaviruses encode several proteins that block innate immune responses, and these are likely to serve as virulence factors. Specfically, four virus-encoded proteins, the phosphoprotein (P), the V protein, the W protein, and the C protein have each been demonstrated to counteract aspects of the interferon (IFN)-α/β response, a key component of the innate immune response to virus infection. The available data indicate that V and W can inhibit the production of IFNα/β in response to various stimuli, while the P, V, and W proteins also block the ability of IFNs to signal and induce an antiviral state in cells. The C protein also inhibits the antiviral effects of IFNα/β by a poorly characterized mechanism. Reverse genetics systems, which allow the generation of recombinant viruses bearing specific mutations, have demonstrated the importance of the viral IFN-antagonists for replication. With these systems in hand, the field is now poised to define how specific viral IFN-antagonist functions influence viral pathogenesis.

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