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African swine fever virus protein MGF-505-7R promotes virulence and pathogenesis by inhibiting JAK1- and JAK2-mediated signaling.
Journal of Biological Chemistry  (IF5.157),  Pub Date : 2021-09-10, DOI: 10.1016/j.jbc.2021.101190
Dan Li,Jing Zhang,Wenping Yang,Pan Li,Yi Ru,Weifang Kang,LuLu Li,Yong Ran,Haixue Zheng

African swine fever virus (ASFV) is a large DNA virus that is highly contagious and pathogenic in domestic pigs with a mortality rate up to 100%. However, how ASFV suppresses JAK-STAT1 signaling to evade the immune response remains unclear. In this study, we found that the ASFV-encoded protein MGF-505-7R inhibited proinflammatory IFN-γ-mediated JAK-STAT1 signaling. Mechanistically, MGF-505-7R was found to interact with JAK1 and JAK2 and mediate their degradation. Further study indicated that MGF-505-7R promoted degradation of JAK1 and JAK2 by upregulating the E3 ubiquitin ligase RNF125 expression and inhibiting expression of Hes5, respectively. Consistently, MGF-505-7R-deficient ASFV induced high levels of IRF1 expression and displayed compromised replication both in primary porcine alveolar macrophages and pigs compared with wild-type ASFV. Furthermore, MGF-505-7R deficiency attenuated the virulence of the ASFV and pathogenesis of ASF in pigs. These findings suggest that the JAK-STAT1 axis mediates the innate immune response to the ASFV and that MGF-505-7R plays a critical role in the virulence of the ASFV and pathogenesis of ASF by antagonizing this axis. Thus, we conclude that deletion of MGF-505-7R may serve as a strategy to develop attenuated vaccines against the ASFV.