Kelli Boyd
Faculty Member
Last active: 3/20/2014

PB1-F2 proteins from H5N1 and 20 century pandemic influenza viruses cause immunopathology.

McAuley JL, Chipuk JE, Boyd KL, Van De Velde N, Green DR, McCullers JA
PLoS Pathog. 2010 6 (7): e1001014

PMID: 20661425 · PMCID: PMC2908617 · DOI:10.1371/journal.ppat.1001014

With the recent emergence of a novel pandemic strain, there is presently intense interest in understanding the molecular signatures of virulence of influenza viruses. PB1-F2 proteins from epidemiologically important influenza A virus strains were studied to determine their function and contribution to virulence. Using 27-mer peptides derived from the C-terminal sequence of PB1-F2 and chimeric viruses engineered on a common background, we demonstrated that induction of cell death through PB1-F2 is dependent upon BAK/BAX mediated cytochrome c release from mitochondria. This function was specific for the PB1-F2 protein of A/Puerto Rico/8/34 and was not seen using PB1-F2 peptides derived from past pandemic strains. However, PB1-F2 proteins from the three pandemic strains of the 20(th) century and a highly pathogenic strain of the H5N1 subtype were shown to enhance the lung inflammatory response resulting in increased pathology. Recently circulating seasonal influenza A strains were not capable of this pro-inflammatory function, having lost the PB1-F2 protein's immunostimulatory activity through truncation or mutation during adaptation in humans. These data suggest that the PB1-F2 protein contributes to the virulence of pandemic strains when the PB1 gene segment is recently derived from the avian reservoir.

MeSH Terms (11)

Animals Birds Disease Outbreaks History, 20th Century Humans Immune System Influenza, Human Influenza A Virus, H5N1 Subtype Influenza in Birds Orthomyxoviridae Viral Proteins

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