Article

West Nile virus envelope protein inhibits dsRNA-induced innate immune responses.

Section of Infectious Diseases, Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.
The Journal of Immunology (Impact Factor: 5.36). 01/2008; 179(12):8403-9. DOI: 10.4049/jimmunol.179.12.8403
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The immune response against viral infection relies on the early production of cytokines that induce an antiviral state and trigger the activation of immune cells. This response is initiated by the recognition of virus-associated molecular patterns such as dsRNA, a viral replication intermediate recognized by TLR3 and certain RNA helicases. Infection with West Nile virus (WNV) can lead to lethal encephalitis in susceptible individuals and constitutes an emerging health threat. In this study, we report that WNV envelope protein (WNV-E) specifically blocks the production of antiviral and proinflammatory cytokines induced by dsRNA in murine macrophages. This immunosuppressive effect was not dependent on TLR3 or its adaptor molecule Trif. Instead, our experiments show that WNV-E acts at the level of receptor-interacting protein 1. Our results also indicate that WNV-E requires a certain glycosylation pattern, specifically that of dipteran cells, to inhibit dsRNA-induced cytokine production. In conclusion, these data show that the major structural protein of WNV impairs the innate immune response and suggest that WNV exploits differential vector/host E glycosylation profiles to evade antiviral mechanisms.

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