Warning: This is a preliminary report that has not been peer-reviewed. It should not be regarded as conclusive, guide clinical practice/health-related behavior, or be reported in news media as established information.

Suppression of MDA5-mediated antiviral immune responses by NSP8 of SARS-CoV-2 (Preliminary Report)

Melanoma differentiation-associated gene-5 (MDA5) acts as a cytoplasmic RNA sensor to detect viral dsRNA and mediates type I interferon (IFN) signaling and antiviral innate immune responses to infection by RNA viruses. Upon recognition of viral dsRNA, MDA5 is activated with K63-linked polyubiquitination and then triggers the recruitment of MAVS and ...
activation of TBK1 and IKK, subsequently leading to IRF3 and NF-?B phosphorylation. Great numbers of symptomatic and severe infections of SARS-CoV-2 are spreading worldwide, and the poor efficacy of treatment with type I interferon and antiviral agents indicates that SARS-CoV-2 escapes from antiviral immune responses via an unknown mechanism. Here, we report that SARS-CoV-2 nonstructural protein 8 (NSP8) acts as an innate immune suppressor and inhibits type I IFN signaling to promote infection of RNA viruses. It downregulates the expression of type I IFNs, IFN-stimulated genes and proinflammatory cytokines by binding to MDA5 and impairing its K63-linked polyubiquitination. Our findings reveal that NSP8 mediates innate immune evasion during SARS-CoV-2 infection and may serve as a potential target for future therapeutics for SARS-CoV-2 infectious diseases.
Date: Aug. 12, 2020
Status: Preliminary Report
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