Inhibitor of κB kinase ε (IKKε), STAT1, and IFIT2 proteins define novel innate immune effector pathway against West Nile virus infection

Olivia Perwitasari, Hyelim Cho, Michael S. Diamond, Michael Gale

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

West Nile virus is an emerging virus whose virulence is dependent upon viral evasion of IFN and innate immune defenses. The actions of IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs) impart control of virus infection, but the specific ISGs and regulatory pathways that restrict West Nile virus (WNV) are not defined. Here we show that inhibitor of κB kinase ε (IKKε) phosphorylation of STAT1 atserine 708 (Ser-708) drives IFIT2 expression to mediate anti-WNV effector function of IFN. WNV infection was enhanced in cells from IKKε -/- or IFIT2 -/- mice. In IKKε -/- cells, the loss of IFN-induced IFIT2 expression was linked to lack of STAT1 phosphorylationon Ser- 708 but no tTyr-701norSer-727.STAT1Ser-708 phosphorylation occurs independently of IRF-3 but requires signaling through the IFN-/- receptor as a late event in the IFN-induced innateimmuneresponsethatcoincideswithIKK--responsiveISGs expression. Biochemical analyses show that STAT1 tyrosine dephosphorylation and CRM1-mediated STAT1 nuclear-cytoplasmic shuttling are required for STAT1 Ser-708 phosphorylation. When compared with WT mice, WNV-infected IKKε -/- mice exhibit enhanced kinetics of virus dissemination and increased pathogenesis concomitant with loss of STAT1 Ser-708 phosphorylation and IFIT2 expression. Our results define an IFN-induced IKKε signaling pathway of specific STAT1 phosphorylation and IFIT2 expression that imparts innate antiviral immunity to restrict WNV infection and control viral pathogenesis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44412-44423
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Volume286
Issue number52
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 30 2011

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