Activation of the interferon induction cascade by influenza A viruses requires viral RNA synthesis and nuclear export

Marian J Killip, Matt Smith, David Jackson, Richard E Randall

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31 Citations (Scopus)
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Abstract

We have examined the requirements for virus transcription and replication and thus the roles of input and progeny genomes in the generation of interferon (IFN)-inducing pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) by influenza A viruses using inhibitors of these processes. Using IFN regulatory factor 3 (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 variety of influenza A viruses in the presence of cycloheximide or nucleoprotein (NP) small interfering RNA (siRNA), which inhibits viral protein synthesis and thus complementary ribonucleoprotein (cRNP) and progeny viral RNP (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. While the exact nature of the viral PAMPs remains to be determined, our data suggest that in this experimental system the major influenza A virus PAMPs are distinct from those of incoming genomes or progeny vRNPs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3942-3952
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Virology
Volume88
Issue number8
Early online date26 Mar 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2014

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