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Sci Rep. 2018 Jun 5;8(1):8585. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-26975-4.

HEV ORF3 downregulates TLR7 to inhibit the generation of type I interferon via impairment of multiple signaling pathways.

Author information

1
Chongqing Key Laboratory of Infectious Diseases and Parasitic Diseases,Department of Infectious Diseases, the First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, 400016, China.
2
Department of hepatic diseases, Chongqing Tranditional Chinese Medicine Hospital, Chongqing, 400011, China.
3
Chongqing Key Laboratory of Infectious Diseases and Parasitic Diseases,Department of Infectious Diseases, the First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, 400016, China. cqqinbo@163.com.

Abstract

Hepatitis E is the most common type of acute hepatitis prevalent worldwide. The open reading frame 3 protein of HEV (HEV ORF3) is proposed to create a favorable environment for viral replication and pathogenesis. However, the mechanisms by which HEV overcomes the effects of host immunity, particularly the role of ORF3, remain to be established. Expression of IFNα and IFNβ in supernatant and cell samples was examined via ELISA and quantitative RT-PCR. The protein levels of specific signaling factors in cells overexpressing HEV ORF3 were examined via western blot. Analyses of cells transfected with vectors expressing ORF3 demonstrated that HEV ORF3 significantly impairs the generation of endogenous type I interferon through downregulating TLR3 and TLR7 as well as their corresponding downstream signaling pathways. Moreover, inhibition of NFκB, JAK/STAT and JNK/MAPK signaling pathways contributed significantly to suppression of increased levels of TLR7. Levels of p-P65, p-STAT1 and p-JNK were markedly impaired in ORF3-expressing cells, even upon treatment with the respective agonists. HEV ORF3 inhibits the production of endogenous type I interferon through downregulation of TLR3 and TLR7. Furthermore, suppression of TLR7 is achieved through impairment of multiple signaling pathways, including NFκB, JAK/STAT and JNK/MAPK.

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