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ISG12a Restricts Hepatitis C Virus Infection through the Ubiquitination-Dependent Degradation Pathway.

Xue B., Yang D., Wang J., Xu Y., Wang X., Qin Y., Tian R., Chen S., Xie Q., Liu N., Zhu H.

Interferons (IFNs) restrict various kinds of viral infection via induction of hundreds of IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs), while the functions of the majority of ISGs are broadly unclear. Here, we show that a high-IFN-inducible gene, ISG12a (also known as IFI27), exhibits a nonapoptotic antiviral effect on hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Viral NS5A protein is targeted specifically by ISG12a, which mediates NS5A degradation via a ubiquitination-dependent proteasomal pathway. K374R mutation in NS5A domain III abrogates ISG12a-induced ubiquitination and degradation of NS5A. S-phase kinase-associated protein 2 (SKP2) is identified as an ubiquitin E3 ligase for NS5A. ISG12a functions as a crucial adaptor that promotes SKP2 to interact with and degrade viral protein. Moreover, the antiviral effect of ISG12a is dependent on the E3 ligase activity of SKP2. These findings uncover an intriguing mechanism by which ISG12a restricts viral infection and provide clues for understanding the actions of innate immunity.Upon virus invasion, IFNs induce numerous ISGs to control viral spread, while the functions of the majority of ISGs are broadly unclear. The present study shows a novel antiviral mechanism of ISGs and elucidated that ISG12a recruits an E3 ligase, SKP2, for ubiquitination and degradation of viral protein and restricts viral infection. These findings provide important insights into exploring the working principles of innate immunity.

J. Virol. 90:6832-6845(2016) [PubMed] [Europe PMC]

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