Title: Porcine transmissible gastroenteritis virus inhibits NF-κB activity via nonstructural protein 3 to evade host immune system
Authors: Yanan Wang, Aoying Sun, Yu Sun, Sijia Zhang, Tian Xia, Tiantian Guo, Zhenye Hao, Li Sun, Yanping Jiang, Xinyuan Qiao, Wen Cui, Lijie Tang, Yigang Xu, Yijing Li & Li Wang
Background: Transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV), a member of the family Coronaviridae, causes lethal watery diarrhea in piglets. Previous studies have revealed that the coronaviruses develop various strategies to evade the host innate immunity through the inhibition of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) signaling pathway. However, the ability of TGEV to inhibit the host innate immune response by modulating the NF-κB signaling pathway is not clear.
Methods: In this study, a dual luciferase reporter assay was used to confirm the inhibition of NF-κB by TGEV infection and to identify the major viral proteins involved in the inhibition of NF-κB signaling. Real-time quantitative PCR was used to quantify the mRNA expression of inflammatory factors. The deubiquitination of Nsp3 domains and its effect on IκBα and p65 were analyzed by western blotting. The ubiquitination level of IκBα was analyzed by immunoprecipitation.
Results: In ST and IPEC-J2 cells, TGEV exhibited a dose-dependent inhibition of NF-κB activity. Individual TGEV protein screening revealed the high potential of non-structural protein 3 (Nsp3) to inhibit NF-κB signaling, and leading to the downregulation of the NF-κB-induced cytokine production. We demonstrated that the inhibitory effect of Nsp3 was mainly mediated through the suppression of IκBα degradation as well as the inhibition of p65 phosphorylation and nuclear translocation. Furthermore, the amino acid residues at positions 590–1,215 in Nsp3 were demonstrated to inhibit the degradation of IκBα by inhibiting the IκBα ubiquitination.
Conclusion: TGEV infection can inhibit the activation of the NF-κB signaling pathway, which is mainly mediated by Nsp3 through the canonical pathway. The amino acid residues at positions 590–1,215 in Nsp3 compose the critical domain that mediates NF-κB inhibition. We speculate that this inhibitory effect is likely to be related to the structure of PLP2 with deubiquitinating enzyme activity of the amino acid residues at positions 590–1,215 in Nsp3. Our study provides a better understanding of the TGEV-mediated innate immune modulation and lays the basis for studies on the pathogenesis of coronavirus.
This timespace follows the World Health Organization's situation reports regarding the COVID-19 outbreak that started in Hubei, China, in January 2020. Cover photograph taken in Japan by Jérémy Stenuit.