Li Gao,Rui Liu,Dan Luo,Kai Li,Xiaole Qi,Changjun Liu,Yanping Zhang,Hongyu Cui,Suyan Wang,Yulong Gao,Xiaomei Wang
J Virol.2022 Dec 13;e0178522.doi: 10.1128/jvi.01785-22. Online ahead of print.
Type I interferon (IFN) response is the first line of host-based innate immune defense against viral infections. However, viruses have developed multiple strategies to counter host IFN responses, so they may continue infecting hosts via effective replication. Avian reovirus (ARV), an RNA virus, causes viral arthritis or tenosynovitis in chickens. Previous studies have shown that ARV is highly resistant to the antiviral effects of IFN. However, the underlying mechanisms that enable ARV to block the IFN pathway remain unclear. In this study, we found that ectopic expression of ARV protein, σA, significantly inhibited the production of IFN-β induced by melanoma-differentiation-associated gene 5 (MDA5) and poly(I·C). Knockdown of σA during ARV infection enhances the IFN-β response and suppresses viral replication. ARV σA inhibited the MDA5-mediated IFN-β activation by targeting interferon regulatory factor 7 (IRF7). Further studies demonstrated that σA interacts with IRF7, thereby blocking IRF7 dimerization and nuclear translocation, finally leading to the inhibition of IFN-β production. These findings reveal a novel mechanism that allows ARV to evade host antiviral immunity. IMPORTANCE ARV, the causative agent of viral arthritis or tenosynovitis in chickens, has a significant economic impact as it results in poor weight gain and increased feed conversion ratios. The MDA5-mediated IFN-β signal pathway plays an important role in host antiviral defense. Therefore, RNA viruses have developed mechanisms to counter this signaling pathway and successfully establish infection. However, the strategies adopted by ARV to block MDA5-IRF7 signaling remain unclear. In the current study, we demonstrated that ARV σA inhibits this pathway by binding to IRF7, which blocked IRF7 dimerization and nuclear translocation. Our findings may provide insights into how avian reovirus counteracts the innate antiviral immunity of the host to ensure viral replication.
Keywords: IRF7; avian reovirus; type I interferon; σA protein.