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TRIM69 inhibits Vesicular Stomatitis Indiana Virus (VSIV)

By Suzannah J. Rihn, Muhamad Afiq Aziz, Douglas G Stewart, Joseph Hughes, Matthew L Turnbull, Mariana Varela, Elena Sugrue, Christie S Herd, Megan Stanifer, Steven P. Sinkins, Massimo Palmarini, Sam J Wilson

Posted 13 Jun 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/669176 (published DOI: 10.1128/JVI.00951-19)

Vesicular Stomatitis Indiana Virus (VSIV) is a model virus that is exceptionally sensitive to the inhibitory action of interferons. Interferons induce an antiviral state by stimulating the expression of hundreds of interferon stimulated genes (ISGs). These ISGs constrain viral replication, limit tissue tropism, reduce pathogenicity and inhibit viral transmission. Because VSIV is used as a backbone for multiple oncolytic and vaccine strategies, understanding how ISGs restrict VSIV, not only helps in understanding VSIV-pathogenesis, but helps evaluate and understand the safety and efficacy of VSIV-based therapies. Thus there is a need to identify and characterize the ISGs that possess anti-VSIV activity. Using arrayed ISG expression screening, we identified TRIM69 as an ISG that potently inhibits VSIV. This inhibition was highly specific as multiple viruses (including influenza A virus, HIV-1, Rift Valley Fever Virus and dengue virus) were not affected by TRIM69. Indeed, just one amino acid substitution in VSIV can govern sensitivity/resistance to TRIM69. TRIM69 is highly divergent in human populations and exhibits signatures of positive selection that are consistent with this gene playing a key role in antiviral immunity. We propose that TRIM69 is an IFN-induced inhibitor of VSIV and speculate that TRIM69 could be important in limiting VSIV pathogenesis and might influence the specificity and/or efficacy of vesiculovirus-based therapies.

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