Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) causes a highly contagious, debilitating disease in cloven-hoofed animals with devastating economic consequences. To survive in the host, FMDV has evolved to antagonize the host type I interferon (IFN) response. Previous studies have reported that the leader proteinase (Lpro) and 3Cpro of FMDV are involved in the inhibition of type I IFN production. However, whether the proteins of FMDV can inhibit type I IFN signaling is less well understood. In this study, we first found that 3Cpro of FMDV functioned to interfere with the JAK-STAT signaling pathway. Expression of 3Cpro significantly reduced the transcript levels of IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs) and IFN-stimulated response element (ISRE) promoter activity. The protein level, tyrosine phosphorylation of STAT1 and STAT2, and their heterodimerization were not affected. However, the nuclear translocation of STAT1/STAT2 was blocked by the 3Cpro protein. Further mechanistic studies demonstrated that 3Cpro induced proteasome- and caspase-independent protein degradation of karyopherin α1 (KPNA1), the nuclear localization signal receptor for tyrosine-phosphorylated STAT1, but not karyopherin α2, α3, or α4. Finally, we showed that the protease activity of 3Cpro contributed to the degradation of KPNA1 and thus blocked STAT1/STAT2 nuclear translocation. Taken together, results of our experiments describe for the first time a novel mechanism by which FMDV evolves to inhibit IFN signaling and counteract host innate antiviral responses.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science