RNA represents a pivotal component of host–pathogen interactions. Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection causes extensive alteration in host RNA metabolism, but the functional relationship between the virus and cellular RNA processing remains largely unknown. Through loss-of-function screening, we show that HCMV requires multiple RNA-processing machineries for efficient viral lytic production. In particular, the cellular RNA-binding protein Roquin, whose expression is actively stimulated by HCMV, plays an essential role in inhibiting the innate immune response. Transcriptome profiling revealed Roquin-dependent global down-regulation of proinflammatory cytokines and antiviral genes in HCMV-infected cells. Furthermore, using cross-linking immunoprecipitation (CLIP)-sequencing (seq), we identified IFN regulatory factor 1 (IRF1), a master transcriptional activator of immune responses, as a Roquin target gene. Roquin reduces IRF1 expression by directly binding to its mRNA, thereby enabling suppression of a variety of antiviral genes. This study demonstrates how HCMV exploits host RNA-binding protein to prevent a cellular antiviral response and offers mechanistic insight into the potential development of CMV therapeutics.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America|
|State||Published - 10 Sep 2019|
- Human cytomegalovirus
- Immune evasion
- Proinflammatory cytokine
- RNA-binding protein