Respiratory syncytial virus impairs macrophage IFN-α/β- and IFN-γ-stimulated transcription by distinct mechanisms

Academic Article


  • Macrophages are the primary lung phagocyte and are instrumental in maintenance of a sterile, noninflamed microenvironment. IFNs are produced in response to bacterial and viral infection, and activate the macrophage to efficiently counteract and remove pathogenic invaders. Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) inhibits IFN-mediated signaling mechanisms in epithelial cells; however, the effects on IFN signaling in the macrophage are currently unknown. We investigated the effect of RSV infection on IFN-mediated signaling in macrophages. RSV infection inhibited IFN-β- and IFN-γ-activated transcriptional mechanisms in primary alveolar macrophages and macrophage cell lines, including the transactivation of important Nod-like receptor family genes, Nod1 and class II transactivator. RSV inhibited IFN-β- and IFN-γ-mediated transcriptional activation by two distinct mechanisms. RSV impaired IFN-β-mediated signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)-1 phosphorylation through a mechanism that involves inhibition of tyrosine kinase 2 phosphorylation. In contrast, RSV-impaired transcriptional activation after IFN-γ stimulation resulted from a reduction in the nuclear STAT1 interaction with the transcriptional coactivator, CBP, and was correlated with increased phosphorylation of STAT1β, a dominant-negative STAT1 splice variant, in response to IFN-γ. In support of this concept, overexpression of STAT1β was sufficient to repress the IFN-γ-mediated expression of class II transactivator. These results demonstrate that RSV inhibits IFN-mediated transcriptional activation in macrophages, and suggests that paramyxoviruses modulate an important regulatory mechanism that is critical in linking innate and adaptive immune mechanisms after infection.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Senft AP; Taylor RH; Lei W; Campbell SA; Tipper JL; Martinez MJ; Witt TL; Clay CC; Harrod KS
  • Start Page

  • 404
  • End Page

  • 414
  • Volume

  • 42
  • Issue

  • 4