HCMV-encoded US7 and US8 act as antagonists of innate immunity by distinctively targeting TLR-signaling pathways

Areum Park, Eun A. Ra, Taeyun A. Lee, Hyunjin Choi, Eunhye Lee, Sujin Kang, Jun Young Seo, Sungwook Lee, Boyoun Park

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The mechanisms by which many human cytomegalovirus (HCMV)-encoded proteins help the virus to evade immune surveillance remain poorly understood. In particular, it is unknown whether HCMV proteins arrest Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling pathways required for antiviral defense. Here, we report that US7 and US8 as key suppressors that bind both TLR3 and TLR4, facilitating their destabilization by distinct mechanisms. US7 exploits the ER-associated degradation components Derlin-1 and Sec61, promoting ubiquitination of TLR3 and TLR4. US8 not only disrupts the TLR3-UNC93B1 association but also targets TLR4 to the lysosome, resulting in rapid degradation of the TLR. Accordingly, a mutant HCMV lacking the US7-US16 region has an impaired ability to hinder TLR3 and TLR4 activation, and the impairment is reversed by the introduction of US7 or US8. Our findings reveal an inhibitory effect of HCMV on TLR signaling, which contributes to persistent avoidance of the host antiviral response to achieve viral latency.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4670
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Dec 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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