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Verbruggen, P.* ; Ruf, M.* ; Blakqori, G.* ; Oeverby, A.K.* ; Heidemann, M. ; Eick, D. ; Weber, F.*

Interferon antagonist NSs of La Crosse virus triggers a DNA-damage response-like degradation of transcribing RNA polymerase II.

J. Biol. Chem. 286, 3681-3692 (2011)
Open Access Green as soon as Postprint is submitted to ZB.
La Crosse encephalitis virus (LACV) is a mosquito-borne member of the negative-strand RNA virus family Bunyaviridae. We have previously shown that the virulence factor NSs of LACV is an efficient inhibitor of the antiviral type I interferon system. A recombinant virus unable to express NSs (rLACVdelNSs) strongly induced interferon transcription, whereas the corresponding wt virus (rLACV) suppressed it. Here, we show that interferon induction by rLACVdelNSs mainly occurs through the signalling pathway leading from the pattern recognition receptor RIG-I to the transcription factor IRF-3. NSs expressed by rLACV, however, acts downstream of IRF-3 by specifically blocking RNA polymerase II-dependent transcription. Further investigations revealed that NSs induces proteasomal degradation of the mammalian RNA polymerase II subunit RPB1. NSs thereby selectively targets RPB1 molecules of elongating RNA polymerase II complexes, the so-called IIo form. This phenotype has similarities to the cellular DNA damage response, and NSs was indeed found to transactivate the DNA damage response gene pak6. Moreover, NSs expressed by rLACV boosted serine 139 phosphorylation of histone H2A.X, one of the earliest cellular reactions to damaged DNA. However, other DNA damage response markers such as upregulation and serine 15 phosphorylation of p53, or serine 1524 phosphorylation of BRCA1, were not triggered by LACV infection. Collectively, our data indicate that the strong suppression of interferon induction by LACV NSs is based on a shut down of RNA polymerase II transcription, and that NSs achieves this by exploiting parts of the cellular DNA damage response pathway to degrade IIo-borne RPB1 subunits.
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Publication type Article: Journal article
Document type Scientific Article
ISSN (print) / ISBN 0021-9258
e-ISSN 1083-351X
Quellenangaben Volume: 286, Issue: 5, Pages: 3681-3692 Article Number: , Supplement: ,
Publisher American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Reviewing status Peer reviewed