Noroviruses are the main causative agents for acute viral gastroenteritis worldwide. RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs) triggered interferon (IFN) activation is essential for host defense against viral infections. In turn, viruses have developed sophisticated strategies to counteract host antiviral response. This study aims to investigate how murine norovirus (MNV) replicase interacts with RLRs-mediated antiviral IFN response. Counterintuitively, we found that the MNV replicase NS7 enhances the activation of poly (I:C)-induced IFN response and the transcription of downstream interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs). Interestingly, NS7 protein augments RIG-I and MDA5-triggered antiviral IFN response, which conceivably involves direct interactions with the caspase activation and recruitment domains (CARDs) of RIG-I and MDA5. Consistently, RIG-I and MDA5 exert anti-MNV activity in human HEK293T cells with ectopic expression of viral receptor CD300lf. This effect requires the activation of JAK/STAT pathway, and is further enhanced by NS7 overexpression. These findings revealed an unconventional role of MNV NS7 as augmenting RLRs-mediated IFN response to inhibit viral replication.

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Antiviral Research
Department of Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Yu, P. (Peifa), Li, Y. (Yang), Li, Y. (Yunlong), Miao, Z. (Zhijiang), Wang, Y. (Yining), Peppelenbosch, M., & Pan, Q. (2020). Murine norovirus replicase augments RIG-I-like receptors-mediated antiviral interferon response. Antiviral Research, 182. doi:10.1016/j.antiviral.2020.104877