Human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) nonstructural protein 2 (NS2) inhibits host interferon (IFN) responses stimulated by RSV infection by targeting early steps in the IFN-signaling pathway. But the molecular mechanisms related to how NS2 regulates these processes remain incompletely understood. To address this gap, here we solved the X-ray crystal structure of NS2. This structure revealed a unique fold that is distinct from other known viral IFN antagonists, including RSV NS1. We also show that NS2 directly interacts with an inactive conformation of the RIG-I–like receptors (RLRs) RIG-I and MDA5. NS2 binding prevents RLR ubiquitination, a process critical for prolonged activation of downstream signaling. Structural analysis, including by hydrogen-deuterium exchange coupled to mass spectrometry, revealed that the N terminus of NS2 is essential for binding to the RIG-I caspase activation and recruitment domains. N-terminal mutations significantly diminish RIG-I interactions and result in increased IFNβ messenger RNA levels. Collectively, our studies uncover a previously unappreciated regulatory mechanism by which NS2 further modulates host responses and define an approach for targeting host responses.
|Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
|Published - Mar 9 2021
- IFN antagonist
- Nonstructural protein
ASJC Scopus subject areas