MAVS-Mediated Apoptosis and Its Inhibition by Viral Proteins

Yu Lei, Chris B. Moore, Rachael M. Liesman, Brian P. O'Connor, Daniel T. Bergstralh, Zhijian J. Chen, Raymond J. Pickles, Jenny P Y Ting

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

152 Scopus citations


Background: Host responses to viral infection include both immune activation and programmed cell death. The mitochondrial antiviral signaling adaptor, MAVS (IPS-1, VISA or Cardif) is critical for host defenses to viral infection by inducing type-1 interferons (IFN-I), however its role in virus-induced apoptotic responses has not been elucidated. Principal Findings: We show that MAVS causes apoptosis independent of its function in initiating IFN-I production. MAVS-induced cell death requires mitochondrial localization, is caspase dependent, and displays hallmarks of apoptosis. Furthermore, MAVS-/- fibroblasts are resistant to Sendai virus-induced apoptosis. A functional screen identifies the hepatitis C virus NS3/4A and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (SARS-CoV) nonstructural protein (NSP15) as inhibitors of MAVS-induced apoptosis, possibly as a method of immune evasion. Significance: This study describes a novel role for MAVS in controlling viral infections through the induction of apoptosis, and identifies viral proteins which inhibit this host response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere5466
JournalPloS one
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 11 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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