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EMBO J. 2013 Mar 6;32(5):688-700. doi: 10.1038/emboj.2013.11. Epub 2013 Feb 5.

hCAF1/CNOT7 regulates interferon signalling by targeting STAT1.

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Université Lyon 1, Lyon, France.


Stringent regulation of the interferon (IFN) signalling pathway is essential for maintaining the immune response to pathogens and tumours. The transcription factor STAT1 is a crucial mediator of this response. Here, we show that hCAF1/CNOT7 regulates class I and II IFN pathways at different crucial steps. In resting cells, hCAF1 can control STAT1 trafficking by interacting with the latent form of STAT1 in the cytoplasm. IFN treatment induces STAT1 release, suggesting that hCAF1 may shield cytoplasmic STAT1 from undesirable stimulation. Consistently, hCAF1 silencing enhances STAT1 basal promoter occupancy associated with increased expression of a subset of STAT1-regulated genes. Consequently, hCAF1 knockdown cells exhibit an increased protection against viral infection and reduced viral replication. Furthermore, hCAF1 participates in the extinction of the IFN signal, through its deadenylase activity, by speeding up the degradation of some STAT1-regulated mRNAs. Since abnormal and unbalanced JAK/STAT activation is associated with immune disorders and cancer, hCAF1 could play a major role in innate immunity and oncogenesis, contributing to tumour escape.

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