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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2016 Mar 8;113(10):2696-701. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1518240113. Epub 2016 Feb 22.

Contraction of the type I IFN locus and unusual constitutive expression of IFN-α in bats.

Author information

1
Australian Animal Health Laboratory, Health and Biosecurity Business Unit, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Geelong, Victoria 3220, Australia; Program in Emerging Infectious Diseases, Duke-National University of Singapore Medical School, Singapore 169857; peng.zhou@duke-nus.edu.sg michelle.baker@csiro.au.
2
Australian Animal Health Laboratory, Health and Biosecurity Business Unit, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Geelong, Victoria 3220, Australia;
3
Program in Emerging Infectious Diseases, Duke-National University of Singapore Medical School, Singapore 169857;
4
Australian Animal Health Laboratory, Health and Biosecurity Business Unit, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Geelong, Victoria 3220, Australia; Program in Emerging Infectious Diseases, Duke-National University of Singapore Medical School, Singapore 169857;
5
Australian Animal Health Laboratory, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Geelong, Victoria 3220, Australia;
6
Centre for Biomedical Research, Burnet Institute, Melbourne, Victoria 3004, Australia; Department of Microbiology, Monash University, Clayton, Victoria 3168, Australia; Department of Infectious Diseases, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria 3004, Australia; Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3010, Australia.
7
Australian Animal Health Laboratory, Health and Biosecurity Business Unit, Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation, Geelong, Victoria 3220, Australia; peng.zhou@duke-nus.edu.sg michelle.baker@csiro.au.

Abstract

Bats harbor many emerging and reemerging viruses, several of which are highly pathogenic in other mammals but cause no clinical signs of disease in bats. To determine the role of interferons (IFNs) in the ability of bats to coexist with viruses, we sequenced the type I IFN locus of the Australian black flying fox, Pteropus alecto, providing what is, to our knowledge, the first gene map of the IFN region of any bat species. Our results reveal a highly contracted type I IFN family consisting of only 10 IFNs, including three functional IFN-α loci. Furthermore, the three IFN-α genes are constitutively expressed in unstimulated bat tissues and cells and their expression is unaffected by viral infection. Constitutively expressed IFN-α results in the induction of a subset of IFN-stimulated genes associated with antiviral activity and resistance to DNA damage, providing evidence for a unique IFN system that may be linked to the ability of bats to coexist with viruses.

KEYWORDS:

bat immunology; innate immunity; interferon

PMID:
26903655
PMCID:
PMC4790985
DOI:
10.1073/pnas.1518240113
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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