A single-amino-acid polymorphism in reovirus protein μ2 determines repression of interferon signaling and modulates myocarditis.

Irvin SC, Zurney J, Ooms LS, Chappell JD, Dermody TS, Sherry B
J Virol. 2012 86 (4): 2302-11

PMID: 22156521 · PMCID: PMC3302381 · DOI:10.1128/JVI.06236-11

Myocarditis is indicated as the second leading cause of sudden death in young adults. Reovirus induces myocarditis in neonatal mice, providing a tractable model system for investigation of this important disease. Alpha/beta-interferon (IFN-α/β) treatment improves cardiac function and inhibits viral replication in patients with chronic myocarditis, and the host IFN-α/β response is a determinant of reovirus strain-specific differences in induction of myocarditis. Virus-induced IFN-β stimulates a signaling cascade that establishes an antiviral state and further induces IFN-α/β through an amplification loop. Reovirus strain-specific differences in induction of and sensitivity to IFN-α/β are associated with the viral M1, L2, and S2 genes. The reovirus M1 gene-encoded μ2 protein is a strain-specific repressor of IFN-β signaling, providing one possible mechanism for the variation in resistance to IFN and induction of myocarditis between different reovirus strains. We report here that μ2 amino acid 208 determines repression of IFN-β signaling and modulates reovirus induction of IFN-β in cardiac myocytes. Moreover, μ2 amino acid 208 determines reovirus replication, both in initially infected cardiac myocytes and after viral spread, by regulating the IFN-β response. Amino acid 208 of μ2 also influences the cytopathic effect in cardiac myocytes after spread. Finally, μ2 amino acid 208 modulates myocarditis in neonatal mice. Thus, repression of IFN-β signaling mediated by reovirus μ2 amino acid 208 is a determinant of the IFN-β response, viral replication and damage in cardiac myocytes, and myocarditis. These results demonstrate that a single amino acid difference between viruses can dictate virus strain-specific differences in suppression of the host IFN-β response and, consequently, damage to the heart.

MeSH Terms (16)

Animals Cell Line Cells, Cultured Down-Regulation Humans Interferon-alpha Interferon-beta Mammalian orthoreovirus 3 Mice Myocarditis Myocytes, Cardiac Orthoreovirus, Mammalian Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide Reoviridae Infections Signal Transduction Viral Proteins

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