Credit: Image by Arek Socha from Pixabay 

Author: Jatin Kumar 

Scientists at the Laboratory of Molecular Virology of the International Centre for Genetic Engineering an Biotechnology (ICGEB) have shown a very early response to cellular stres synergies with innate immunity for a more efficient antiviral action. The research paper recently published in Nature Communications.

Viruses like Dengue, Tick-borne encephalitis, Usutu virus, West Nile virus, Yellow fever, Zika virus are spreading all across the world. All these pathogens share a common vector i.e., mosquitoes or ticks and share similar replication strategies. Infected individuals may respond with mild symptoms or excess weakening or sometimes even fatal consequences. The only key to the outcome of the infection is the early cell response to the virus which we called innate immunity or first line of defence, this could be the only defence in the absence of a vaccine or and antiviral drugs.

This innate response to a pathogen is very critical in determining the outcome of the infection. However, the interaction of different cellular responses that are activated during viral infection and their contribution to innate antiviral signalling has not been clearly confirmed. By this research, scientists have shown that the Flavi viruses activate the unfolded protein response before transcription of interferon regulatory factor 3 induced genes. Infection in conditions of unfolded protein response priming leads to early activation of innate antiviral responses and cell intrinsic inhibition of viral replication, which is interferon regulatory factor 3 dependent.

These results demonstrated that the unfolded protein response is not only a physiological reaction of the cell to viral infection but also synergizes with pattern recognition sensing to produce a potent antiviral response. This finding provides a first understanding of the basic biology of the cell response to infection and could be therefore used to design innovative antiviral drugs in future.


: “Viral priming of cell intrinsic innate antiviral signalling by the unfolded protein response