Influenza virus NS1 protein-RNA interactome reveals intron targeting

Liang Zhang, Juan Wang, Raquel Muñoz-Moreno, Min Kim, Ramanavelan Sakthivel, Wei Mo, Dandan Shao, Aparna Anantharaman, Adolfo García-Sastre, Nicholas K Conrad, Beatriz M Fontoura

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

The NS1 protein of influenza A virus is a multifunctional virulence factor that inhibits cellular processes to facilitate viral gene expression. While NS1 is known to interact with RNA and proteins to execute these functions, the cellular RNAs that physically interact with NS1 have not been systematically identified. Here we reveal a NS1 protein-RNA interactome and show that NS1 primarily binds intronic sequences. Among this subset of pre-mRNAs is the RIG-I pre-mRNA, which encodes the main cytoplasmic antiviral sensor of influenza virus infection. This suggested that NS1 interferes with the antiviral response at a posttranscriptional level by virtue of its RNA binding properties. Indeed, we show that NS1 is necessary in the context of viral infection and sufficient upon transfection to decrease the rate of RIG-I intron removal. This NS1 function requires a functional RNA binding domain and is independent of the NS1 interaction with the cleavage and polyadenylation specificity factor CPSF30. NS1 has been previously shown to abrogate RIG-I-mediated antiviral immunity by inhibiting its protein function. Our data further suggest that NS1 also posttranscriptionally alters RIG-I pre-mRNA processing by binding to the RIG-I pre-mRNA. IMPORTANCE A key virulence factor of influenza A virus is the NS1 protein, which inhibits various cellular processes to facilitate viral gene expression. The NS1 protein is localized in the nucleus and in the cytoplasm during infection. In the nucleus, NS1 has functions related to inhibition of gene expression that involve protein-protein and protein-RNA interactions. While several studies have elucidated the protein interactome of NS1, we still lack a clear and systematic understanding of the NS1-RNA interactome. Here we reveal a nuclear NS1-RNA interactome and show that NS1 primarily binds intronic sequences within a subset of pre-mRNAs, including the RIG-I pre-mRNA that encodes the main cytoplasmic antiviral sensor of influenza virus infection. Our data here further suggest that NS1 is necessary and sufficient to impair intron processing of the RIG-I pre-mRNA. These findings support a posttranscriptional role for NS1 in the inhibition of RIG-I expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0163418
JournalJournal of virology
Volume92
Issue number24
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

Keywords

  • Influenza virus
  • NS1 protein
  • RNA processing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology

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