Pathogenic Influenza Viruses and Coronaviruses Utilize Similar and Contrasting Approaches To Control Interferon-Stimulated Gene Responses

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The broad range and diversity of interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs) function to induce an antiviral state within the host, impeding viral pathogenesis. While successful respiratory viruses overcome individual ISG effectors, analysis of the global ISG response and subsequent viral antagonism has yet to be examined. Employing models of the human airway, transcriptomics and proteomics datasets were used to compare ISG response patterns following highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza (HPAI) A virus, 2009 pandemic H1N1, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV), and Middle East respiratory syndrome CoV (MERS-CoV) infection. The results illustrated distinct approaches utilized by each virus to antagonize the global ISG response. In addition, the data revealed that highly virulent HPAI virus and MERS-CoV induce repressive histone modifications, which downregulate expression of ISG subsets. Notably, influenza A virus NS1 appears to play a central role in this histone-mediated downregulation in highly pathogenic influenza strains. Together, the work demonstrates the existence of unique and common viral strategies for controlling the global ISG response and provides a novel avenue for viral antagonism via altered histone modifications.

IMPORTANCE This work combines systems biology and experimental validation to identify and confirm strategies used by viruses to control the immune response. Using a novel screening approach, specific comparison between highly pathogenic influenza viruses and coronaviruses revealed similarities and differences in strategies to control the interferon and innate immune response. These findings were subsequently confirmed and explored, revealing both a common pathway of antagonism via type I interferon (IFN) delay as well as a novel avenue for control by altered histone modification. Together, the data highlight how comparative systems biology analysis can be combined with experimental validation to derive novel insights into viral pathogenesis.

Projects (2)

Omics-LHV Systems Biology Modeling Host Response to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) Infection The Systems Virology project was one of four systems biology contracts funded by the NIAID Systems Biology for Infectious Diseases Research Program from 2008-2013. The Systems Biology for...

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Reusable Digital Data Lifecycle Downloads for Modeling Host Responses to Understand Severe Human Virus Infections The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) "Modeling Host Responses to Understand Severe Human Virus Infections" (U19AI106772) program project was a highly...

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