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BAG6 inhibits influenza A virus replication by inducing viral polymerase subunit PB2 degradation and perturbing RdRp complex assembly

Zhou Y, Li T, Zhang Y, Zhang N, Guo Y, Gao X, Peng W, Shu S, Zhao C, Cui D, Sun H, Sun Y, Liu J, Tang J, Zhang R, Pu J
PLoS Pathog 20(3): e1012110.
The interaction between influenza A virus (IAV) and host proteins is an important process that greatly influences viral replication and pathogenicity. PB2 protein is a subunit of viral ribonucleoprotein (vRNP) complex playing distinct roles in viral transcription and replication. BAG6 (BCL2-associated athanogene 6) as a multifunctional host protein participates in physiological and pathological processes. Here, we identify BAG6 as a new restriction factor for IAV replication through targeting PB2. For both avian and human influenza viruses, over expression of BAG6 reduced viral protein expression and virus titers, whereas deletion of BAG6 significantly enhanced virus replication. Moreover, BAG6-knockdown mice developed more severe clinical symptoms and higher viral loads upon IAV infection. Mechanistically, BAG6 restricted IAV transcription and replication by inhibiting the activity of viral RNA dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp). The co-immunoprecipitation assays showed BAG6 specifically interacted with the N-terminus of PB2 and competed with PB1 for RdRp complex assembly. The ubiquitination assay indicated that BAG6 promoted PB2 ubiquitination at K189 residue and targeted PB2 for K48-linked ubiquitination degradation. The antiviral effect of BAG6 necessitated its N-terminal region containing a ubiquitin-like (UBL) domain (17-92aa) and a PB2-binding domain (124-186aa), which are synergistically responsible for viral polymerase subunit PB2 degradation and perturbing RdRp complex assembly. These findings unravel a novel antiviral mechanism via the interaction of viral PB2 and host protein BAG6 during avian or human influenza virus infection and highlight a potential application of BAG6 for antiviral drug development.
Not Epub
Organism or Cell Type: 
BALB/c mice
Delivery Method: 
intranasal peptide-linked