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Double-stranded RNA-induced activation of activating protein-1 promoter is differentially regulated by the non-structural protein 1 of avian influenza A viruses

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>02/2012
<mark>Journal</mark>Viral Immunology
Issue number1
Volume25
Number of pages7
Pages (from-to)79-85
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Non-structural protein 1 (NS1) of influenza A viruses is a multifunctional protein that antagonizes the host immune response by interfering with several host signaling pathways. Based on putative amino acid sequences, NS1 proteins are categorized into two gene pools, allele A and allele B. Here we identified that allele A NS1 proteins of H6N8 and H4N6 are able to inhibit double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-induced activating protein-1 (AP-1) promoter in cultured cell lines (human A549 and mink lung cells). Allele B NS1 proteins from corresponding subtypes of influenza A viruses are weak in this inhibition, despite significant levels of expression of each NS1 protein in human A549 cells. Furthermore, the capability to inhibit AP-1 promoter was mapped in the effector domain, since RNA binding domain alone lost its ability to inhibit this promoter activation. Chimeric forms of NS1 protein, composed of either RNA binding domain of allele A or B and effector domain of allele A or B, showed comparable inhibition to that of their wild-type NS1 proteins, or to the effector domain of corresponding NS1 proteins. Both alleles A and B NS1 proteins of H6N8 and H4N6 were expressed to significant levels, and were localized predominantly in the nucleus of human A549 cells. These results underscore the importance of the effector domain in inhibiting AP-1 promoter activation, and the biological function of the effector domain in stabilizing the RNA binding domain. Further, we revealed the versatile nature of NS1 in inhibiting the AP-1 transcription factor, in a manner dependent on allele type. Comprehensive studies, focusing on the molecular mechanisms behind this differential inhibition, may facilitate exploration of the zoonotic and pathogenic potential of influenza A viruses.