Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

The Amino-Terminal Region of Hepatitis E Virus ORF1 Containing a Methyltransferase (Met) and a Papain-Like Cysteine Protease (PCP) Domain Counteracts Type I Interferon Response

Version 1 : Received: 26 September 2018 / Approved: 27 September 2018 / Online: 27 September 2018 (03:34:49 CEST)

A peer-reviewed article of this Preprint also exists.

Bagdassarian, E.; Doceul, V.; Pellerin, M.; Demange, A.; Meyer, L.; Jouvenet, N.; Pavio, N. The Amino-Terminal Region of Hepatitis E Virus ORF1 Containing a Methyltransferase (Met) and a Papain-Like Cysteine Protease (PCP) Domain Counteracts Type I Interferon Response. Viruses 2018, 10, 726. Bagdassarian, E.; Doceul, V.; Pellerin, M.; Demange, A.; Meyer, L.; Jouvenet, N.; Pavio, N. The Amino-Terminal Region of Hepatitis E Virus ORF1 Containing a Methyltransferase (Met) and a Papain-Like Cysteine Protease (PCP) Domain Counteracts Type I Interferon Response. Viruses 2018, 10, 726.

Journal reference: Viruses 2018, 10, 726
DOI: 10.3390/v10120726

Abstract

Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is responsible for large waterborne epidemics of hepatitis in endemic countries and is an emerging zoonotic pathogen worldwide. In endemic regions, HEV-1 or HEV-2 genotypes are frequently associated with fulminant hepatitis in pregnant women, while with zoonotic HEV (HEV-3 and HEV-4), chronic cases of hepatitis and severe neurological disorders are reported. Hence, it is important to characterize the interactions between HEV and its host. Here, we investigated the ability of the non-structural polyprotein encoded by the first open reading frame (ORF1) of HEV to modulate the host early antiviral response and in particular the type I interferon (IFN-I) system. We found that the amino-terminal region of HEV-3 ORF1 (MetPCP), containing a putative methyltransferase (Met) and a papain-like cysteine protease (PCP) functional domain, inhibited IFN-stimulated response element (ISRE) promoter activation and the expression of several IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs) in response to IFN-I. We showed that the MetPCP domain interfered with the Janus kinase (JAK)/signal transducer and activator of transcription protein (STAT) signalling pathway by inhibiting STAT1 nuclear translocation and phosphorylation after IFN-I treatment. By contrast, MetPCP had no effect on STAT2 phosphorylation and a limited impact on the activation of the JAK/STAT pathway after IFN-II stimulation. This inhibitory function seemed to be genotype-dependent as MetPCP from HEV-1 had no significant effect on the JAK/STAT pathway. Overall, this study provides evidence that the predicted MetPCP domain of HEV ORF1 antagonises STAT1 activation to modulate the IFN response.

Subject Areas

hepatitis E virus; innate immunity; interferon response; JAK/STAT pathway; zoonosis; emerging pathogen

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