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J Virol. 2016 Sep 12;90(19):8906-23. doi: 10.1128/JVI.01425-16. Print 2016 Oct 1.

Replication of Human Norovirus RNA in Mammalian Cells Reveals Lack of Interferon Response.

Author information

1
Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA.
2
Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA.
3
Department of Molecular Virology and Microbiology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, USA mestes@bcm.edu.

Abstract

Human noroviruses (HuNoVs), named after the prototype strain Norwalk virus (NV), are a leading cause of acute gastroenteritis outbreaks worldwide. Studies on the related murine norovirus (MNV) have demonstrated the importance of an interferon (IFN) response in host control of virus replication, but this remains unclear for HuNoVs. Despite the lack of an efficient cell culture infection system, transfection of stool-isolated NV RNA into mammalian cells leads to viral RNA replication and virus production. Using this system, we show here that NV RNA replication is sensitive to type I (α/β) and III (interleukin-29 [IL-29]) IFN treatment. However, in cells capable of a strong IFN response to Sendai virus (SeV) and poly(I·C), NV RNA replicates efficiently and generates double-stranded RNA without inducing a detectable IFN response. Replication of HuNoV genogroup GII.3 strain U201 RNA, generated from a reverse genetics system, also does not induce an IFN response. Consistent with a lack of IFN induction, NV RNA replication is enhanced neither by neutralization of type I/III IFNs through neutralizing antibodies or the soluble IFN decoy receptor B18R nor by short hairpin RNA (shRNA) knockdown of mitochondrial antiviral signaling protein (MAVS) or interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3) in the IFN induction pathways. In contrast to other positive-strand RNA viruses that block IFN induction by targeting MAVS for degradation, MAVS is not degraded in NV RNA-replicating cells, and an SeV-induced IFN response is not blocked. Together, these results indicate that HuNoV RNA replication in mammalian cells does not induce an IFN response, suggesting that the epithelial IFN response may play a limited role in host restriction of HuNoV replication.

IMPORTANCE:

Human noroviruses (HuNoVs) are a leading cause of epidemic gastroenteritis worldwide. Due to lack of an efficient cell culture system and robust small-animal model, little is known about the innate host defense to these viruses. Studies on murine norovirus (MNV) have shown the importance of an interferon (IFN) response in host control of MNV replication, but this remains unclear for HuNoVs. Here, we investigated the IFN response to HuNoV RNA replication in mammalian cells using Norwalk virus stool RNA transfection, a reverse genetics system, IFN neutralization reagents, and shRNA knockdown methods. Our results show that HuNoV RNA replication in mammalian epithelial cells does not induce an IFN response, nor can it be enhanced by blocking the IFN response. These results suggest a limited role of the epithelial IFN response in host control of HuNoV RNA replication, providing important insights into our understanding of the host defense to HuNoVs that differs from that to MNV.

PMID:
27466422
PMCID:
PMC5021416
DOI:
10.1128/JVI.01425-16
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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