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Enterovirus D68 vRNA induces type III IFN production via MDA5.

Virus Research 2023 November 30
Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) primarily spreads through the respiratory tract and causes respiratory symptoms in children and acute flaccid myelitis (AFM). Type III interferons (IFNs) play a critical role in inhibiting viral growth in respiratory epithelial cells. However, the mechanism by which EV-D68 induces type III IFN production is not yet fully understood. In this study, we show that EV-D68 infection stimulates Calu-3 cells to secrete IFN-λ. The transfection of EV-D68 viral RNA (vRNA) stimulated IFN-λ via MDA5. Furthermore, our findings provide evidence that EV-D68 infection also induces MDA5- IRF3/IRF7-mediated IFN-λ. In addition, we discovered that EV-D68 infection downregulated MDA5 expression. Knockdown of MDA5 increased EV-D68 replication in Calu-3 cells. Finally, we demonstrated that the IFN-λ1 and IFN-λ2/3 proteins effectively inhibit EV-D68 infection in respiratory epithelial cells. In summary, our study shows that EV-D68 induces type III IFN production via the activated MDA5-IRF3/IRF7 pathway and that type III IFNs inhibit EV-D68 replication in Calu-3 cells.

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