Distinct mechanisms of inhibition of VSV replication in neurons mediated by type I and type II IFN

P. M. D'Agostino, J. Yang, C. S. Reiss

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Acute viral infection of neurons presents a difficult problem to the host, since neurons are essential and not replaced, therefore cell-autonomous pathway(s) of suppressing viral replication are critical. We have examined the mechanisms by which neurons respond to exogenous interferons (IFNs) and observed that novel pathways inhibit acute vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) replication. For both type I (IFN-beta) and Type II (IFN-gamma) interferons, post-translational modification of viral proteins contributed to the replication blockade, diminishing the efficiency of viral assembly and budding from the host neuron. IFN-gamma treatment induces the accumulation of NOS-1 in the absence of an increase of mRNA encoding this enzyme; a NOS-1-inhibiting protein, PIN, is rapidly ubiquitinated and eliminated in the presence of IFN-gamma. NOS-1 produces NO which combines with superoxide to form peroxynitrite (ONOO-), this binds tyrosines, cysteines, and serines; antagonism of NOS-1 with either non-specific or selective inhibitors block the antiviral effect of IFN-gamma. VSV proteins are decorated with -NO(2) in IFN-gamma-treated neurons, probably resulting in their diminished ability to interact properly and mature into budding virus. For IFN-beta, protein phosphorylation of the Matrix protein (M) and Phosphoprotein (P) were altered in infected neurons, with hyperphosphorylation of M (but not hypophosphorylated P) found in released virions. Hyperphosphorylated M protein does not immunoprecipitate with the viral ribonucleoprotein complex in IFN-beta-treated neurons. Thus both types of IFN interfere with viral assembly and release of infectious particles, but by distinct pathways.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)20-29
Number of pages10
JournalVirus Reviews & Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2009


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