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J Virol. 2016 Sep 12;90(19):8780-94. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00655-16. Print 2016 Oct 1.

The Interferon-Stimulated Gene IFITM3 Restricts Infection and Pathogenesis of Arthritogenic and Encephalitic Alphaviruses.

Author information

1
Department of Pathology and Immunology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, USA.
2
Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, USA.
3
Department of Immunobiology and Microbial Sciences, The Scripps Research Institute, Jupiter, Florida, USA.
4
Department of Pathology and Immunology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, USA Department of Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, USA Department of Molecular Microbiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, USA The Center for Human Immunology and Immunotherapy Programs, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, Missouri, USA diamond@borcim.wustl.edu.

Abstract

Host cells respond to viral infections by producing type I interferon (IFN), which induces the expression of hundreds of interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs). Although ISGs mediate a protective state against many pathogens, the antiviral functions of the majority of these genes have not been identified. IFITM3 is a small transmembrane ISG that restricts a broad range of viruses, including orthomyxoviruses, flaviviruses, filoviruses, and coronaviruses. Here, we show that alphavirus infection is increased in Ifitm3(-/-) and Ifitm locus deletion (Ifitm-del) fibroblasts and, reciprocally, reduced in fibroblasts transcomplemented with Ifitm3. Mechanistic studies showed that Ifitm3 did not affect viral binding or entry but inhibited pH-dependent fusion. In a murine model of chikungunya virus arthritis, Ifitm3(-/-) mice sustained greater joint swelling in the ipsilateral ankle at days 3 and 7 postinfection, and this correlated with higher levels of proinflammatory cytokines and viral burden. Flow cytometric analysis suggested that Ifitm3(-/-) macrophages from the spleen were infected at greater levels than observed in wild-type (WT) mice, results that were supported by experiments with Ifitm3(-/-) bone marrow-derived macrophages. Ifitm3(-/-) mice also were more susceptible than WT mice to lethal alphavirus infection with Venezuelan equine encephalitis virus, and this was associated with greater viral burden in multiple organs. Collectively, our data define an antiviral role for Ifitm3 in restricting infection of multiple alphaviruses.

IMPORTANCE:

The interferon-induced transmembrane protein 3 (IFITM3) inhibits infection of multiple families of viruses in cell culture. Compared to other viruses, much less is known about the antiviral effect of IFITM3 on alphaviruses. In this study, we characterized the antiviral activity of mouse Ifitm3 against arthritogenic and encephalitic alphaviruses using cells and animals with a targeted gene deletion of Ifitm3 as well as deficient cells transcomplemented with Ifitm3. Based on extensive virological analysis, we demonstrate greater levels of alphavirus infection and disease pathogenesis when Ifitm3 expression is absent. Our data establish an inhibitory role for Ifitm3 in controlling infection of alphaviruses.

PMID:
27440901
PMCID:
PMC5021394
DOI:
10.1128/JVI.00655-16
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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