Activation of the interferon induction cascade by influenza A viruses requires viral RNA synthesis and nuclear export
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We have examined the requirements for virus transcription and replication, and thus the roles of input and progeny genomes, in the generation of IFN-inducing PAMPs by influenza A viruses using inhibitors of these processes. Using IRF3 phosphorylation as a marker of activation of the IFN induction cascade that occurs upstream of the IFN-β promoter, we demonstrate strong activation of the IFN induction cascade in A549 cells infected with a range of influenza A viruses in the presence of cycloheximide or NP siRNA, which inhibit viral protein synthesis and thus cRNP and progeny vRNP synthesis. In contrast, activation of the IFN induction cascade by influenza viruses was very effectively abrogated by treatment with actinomycin D and other transcription inhibitors, which correlated with the inhibition of the synthesis of all viral RNA species. Furthermore, 5,6-dichloro-1-β-D-ribofuranosyl-benzimidazole, an inhibitor that prevents viral RNA export from the nucleus, was also a potent inhibitor of IRF3 activation; thus, both viral RNA synthesis and nuclear export are required for IFN induction by influenza A viruses. Whilst the exact nature of the viral PAMPs remains to be determined, our data suggests that in this experimental system the major influenza A virus PAMPs are distinct from incoming genomes or progeny vRNPs.IMPORTANCE The host interferon system exerts an extremely potent antiviral response that efficiently restricts virus replication and spread; the interferon response can thus dictate the outcome of a virus infection and it is therefore important to understand how viruses induce interferon. Both input and progeny genomes have been linked to interferon induction by influenza viruses. However, our experiments in tissue culture cells show that viral RNA synthesis and nuclear export are required to activate this response. Furthermore, the interferon induction cascade is activated under conditions in which the synthesis of progeny genomes is inhibited. Therefore, in tissue culture cells, input and progeny genomes are not the predominant inducers of interferon generated by influenza A viruses; the major viral interferon inducer/s still remain to be identified.
Killip , M J , Smith , M , Jackson , D & Randall , R E 2014 , ' Activation of the interferon induction cascade by influenza A viruses requires viral RNA synthesis and nuclear export ' Journal of Virology , vol 88 , no. 8 , pp. 3942-3952 . DOI: 10.1128/JVI.03109-13
Journal of Virology
Copyright © 2014 Killip et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license. https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
This work is supported by grants from the Wellcome Trust (grants 087751/A/08/Z) and MRC (G1001726/1).
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