Molecular Mechanisms of Interferon Resistance Mediated by Viral-Directed Inhibition of PKR, the Interferon-Induced Protein Kinase
ABSTRACT The interferon (IFN)-induced cellular antiviral response is the first line of defense against viral infection within an animal host. In order to establish a productive infection, eukaryotic viruses must first overcome the IFN-induced blocks imposed on viral replication. The double-stranded RNA-activated protein kinase (PKR) is a key component mediating the antiviral actions of IFN. This IFN-induced protein kinase can restrict viral replication through its ability to phosphorylate the protein synthesis initiation factor eukaryotic initiation factor-2 α-subunit and reduce levels of viral protein synthesis. Viruses, therefore, must block the function of PKR in order to avoid these deleterious antiviral effects associated with PKR activity. Indeed, many viruses have developed effective measures to repress PKR activity during infection. This review will focus primarily on an overview of the different molecular mechanisms employed by these viruses to meet a common goal: the inhibition of PKR function, uncompromised viral protein synthesis, and unrestricted virus replication. The past few years have seen exciting new advances in this area. Rather unexpectedly, this area of research has benefited from the use of the yeast system to study PKR. Other recent advances include studies on PKR regulation by the herpes simplex viruses and data from our laboratory on the medically important hepatitis C viruses. We speculate that IFN is ineffective as a therapeutic agent against hepatitis C virus because the virus can effectively repress PKR function. Finally, we will discuss briefly the future directions of this PKR field. pharmacol. ther. 78(1):29–46, 1998.
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ABSTRACT: By atomic absorption analysis, we determined that the reovirus outer capsid protein sigma 3, which binds double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), is a zinc metalloprotein. Using Northwestern blots and a novel zinc blotting technique, we localized the zinc- and dsRNA-binding activities of sigma 3 to distinct V8 protease-generated fragments. Zinc-binding activity was contained within an amino-terminal fragment that contained a transcription factor IIIA-like zinc-binding sequence, and dsRNA-binding activity was associated with a carboxy-terminal fragment. By these techniques, new zinc- and dsRNA-binding activities were also detected in reovirus core proteins. A sequence similarity was observed between the catalytic site of the picornavirus proteases and the transcription factor IIIA-like zinc-binding site within sigma 3. We suggest that the zinc- and dsRNA-binding activities of sigma 3 may be important for its proposed regulatory effects on viral and host cell transcription and translation.Molecular and Cellular Biology 02/1988; 8(1):273-83. · 5.37 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Recently we reported that introduction of catalytically inactive PKR molecules into NIH 3T3 cells causes malignant transformation and the development of tumors in nude mice. We have proposed that PKR may be a tumor suppressor gene possibly because of its translational inhibitory properties. We have now designed and characterized a number of PKR mutants encoding proteins that retain their catalytic competence but are mutated in their regulatory double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) binding domains (RBDs). RNA binding analysis revealed that PKR proteins either lacking or with point mutations in the first RBD (RBD-1) bound negligible amounts of dsRNA activator or adenovirus VAI RNA inhibitor. Despite the lack of binding, such variants remained functionally competent but were much less active than wild-type PKR. PKR variants completely lacking RBD-1 were largely unresponsive to dsRNA in activation assays but could be activated by heparin. To complement these studies, we evaluated the effects of point mutations in RBD-1 or the removal of either RBD-1 or RBD-2 on the proliferation rate of mouse 3T3 cells. We were unsuccessful at isolating stably transformed cells expressing RBD-1 point mutants or RBD-2-minus mutants. In contrast, NIH 3T3 cells, which constitutively expressed PKR proteins that lacked RBD-1, were selected. These cells displayed a transformed phenotype and caused tumors after inoculation in nude mice. Further, levels of endogenous eIF-2 alpha phosphorylation in RBD-1-minus cell lines were reduced, suggesting that such mutants act in a dominant negative manner to inhibit the function of endogenous PKR. These results emphasize the importance of RBD-1 in PKR control of cell growth and provide additional evidence for the critical role played by PKR in the regulation of malignant transformation.Molecular and Cellular Biology 07/1995; 15(6):3138-46. · 5.37 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: We have investigated the interaction of VAI RNA with the interferon-induced, double-stranded (ds) RNA-activated protein kinase, P68, both of which regulate protein synthesis in adenovirus-infected cells. Previous work has shown that during infection by the VAI RNA-negative mutant, dl331, both viral and cellular protein synthesis are inhibited due to phosphorylation of the alpha-subunit of the eukaryotic initiation factor, eIF-2, by the P68 protein kinase. Utilizing monoclonal antibodies specific for P68, we demonstrated that the physical levels of P68 in dl331-infected, wild-type Ad2-infected and uninfected cells were all comparable suggesting that the elevated kinase activity detected during mutant infection was not due to increased P68 synthesis. To examine the basis of the increased activity of P68, the protein kinase was purified from infected-cell extracts using the monoclonal antibody. We found that P68 was heavily autophosphorylated during dl331 infection but not during wild-type or mock infection. The extent of autophosphorylation correlated with elevated P68 activity and the loss of the dsRNA requirements to phosphorylate the exogenous substrates, eIF-1 alpha and histones. We also analyzed VAI RNA function in vitro and present evidence that purified VAI RNA can block the autophosphorylation of P68 in the ribosomal salt wash fraction of interferon-treated cells. Finally we suggest VAI RNA functions through a direct interaction with the P68 protein kinase, since we demonstrated that VAI RNA forms a complex with P68 both in vitro and in vivo.The EMBO Journal 04/1987; 6(3):689-97. · 9.82 Impact Factor