J Virol.2021 Sep 8;JVI0088921.doi: 10.1128/JVI.00889-21. Online ahead of print.
Mingwei Li , Yang Wu , Jianfei Chen , Hongyan Shi , Zhaoyanag Ji , Xin Zhang , Da Shi , Jianbo Liu , Jin Tian , Xiaobo Wang , Zhaorong Shi , Hongling Zhang , Hao Zhang , Longjun Guo , Li Feng
Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV) causes a porcine disease associated with swine epidemic diarrhea. Different antagonistic strategies have been identified, and the mechanism by which PEDV infection impairs the production of interferon (IFN) and delays the activation of the IFN response to escape host innate immunity has been determined, but the pathogenic mechanisms of PEDV infection remain enigmatic. Our preliminary results revealed that endogenous F-box and WD repeat domain-containing 7 (FBXW7), the substrate recognition component of the SCF-type E3 ubiquitin ligase, is downregulated in PEDV-infected Vero E6 cells, according to the results from an isobaric tags for relative and absolute quantification (iTRAQ) analysis. Overexpression of FBXW7 in target cells makes them more resistant to PEDV infection, whereas ablation of FBXW7 expression by small interfering RNA (siRNA) significantly promotes PEDV infection. In addition, FBXW7 was verified as an innate antiviral factor capable of enhancing the expression of RIG-I and TBK1, and it was found to induce interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs), which led to an elevated antiviral state of the host cells. Moreover, we revealed that PEDV nonstructural protein 2 (nsp2) interacts with FBXW7 and targets FBXW7 for degradation through the K48-linked ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. Consistent with the results proven in vitro, FBXW7 reduction was also confirmed in different intestinal tissues from PEDV-infected specific-pathogen-free (SPF) pigs. Taken together, the data indicated that PEDV has evolved with a distinct antagonistic strategy to circumvent the host antiviral response by targeting the ubiquitin-proteasome-mediated degradation of FBXW7. Our findings provide novel insights into PEDV infection and pathogenesis. IMPORTANCE To counteract the host antiviral defenses, most viruses, including coronaviruses, have evolved with diverse strategies to dampen host IFN-mediated antiviral response, wither by interfering with or evading specific host regulators at multiple steps of this response. In this study, a novel antagonistic strategy was revealed showing that PEDV infection could circumvent the host innate response by targeted degradation of endogenous FBXW7 in target cells, a process that was verified to be a positive modulator for the host innate immune system. Degradation of FBXW7 hampers host innate antiviral activation and facilitates PEDV replication. Our findings reveal a new mechanism exploited by PEDV to suppress the host antiviral response.