Dr. Lin, Yi-Ling ’s Lab林宜玲 博士 實驗室


Inhibition of Japanese encephalitis virus infection by the host zinc-finger antiviral protein

PLoS pathogens, Jul 17, 2018

CCCH-type zinc-finger antiviral protein (ZAP) is a host factor that restricts the infection of many viruses mainly through RNA degradation, translation inhibition and innate immune responses. So far, only one flavivirus, yellow fever virus, has been reported to be ZAP-resistant. Here, we investigated the antiviral potential of human ZAP (isoform ZAP-L and ZAP-S) against three flaviviruses, Japanese encephalitis virus (JEV), dengue virus (DENV) and Zika virus (ZIKV). Infection of JEV but not DENV or ZIKV was blocked by ZAP overexpression, and depletion of endogenous ZAP enhanced JEV replication. ZAP hampered JEV translation and targeted viral RNA for 3′-5′ RNA exosome-mediated degradation. The zinc-finger motifs of ZAP were essential for RNA targeting and anti-JEV activity. JEV 3′-UTR, especially in the region with dumbbell structures and high content of CG dinucleotide, was mapped to bind ZAP and confer sensitivity to ZAP. In summary, we identified JEV as the first ZAP-sensitive flavivirus. ZAP may act as an intrinsic antiviral factor through specific RNA binding to fight against JEV infection.

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