Constitutively Active MDA5 Proteins Are Inhibited by Paramyxovirus v Proteins

Roli Mandhana, Lily K. Qian, Curt M. Horvath*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Excessive interferon (IFN) production and signaling can lead to immunological and developmental defects giving rise to autoimmune diseases referred to collectively as "type I interferonopathies." A subset of these diseases is caused by monogenic mutations affecting proteins involved in nucleic acid sensing, homeostasis, and metabolism. Interferonopathic mutations in the cytosolic antiviral sensor MDA5 render it constitutively hyperactive, resulting in chronic IFN production and IFN-stimulated gene expression. Few therapeutic options are available for patients with interferonopathic diseases, but a large number of IFN evasion and antagonism strategies have evolved in viral pathogens that can counteract IFN production and signaling to enhance virus replication. To test the hypothesis that these natural IFN suppressors could be used to subdue the activity of interferonopathic signaling proteins, hyperactive MDA5 variants were assessed for susceptibility to a family of viral MDA5 inhibitors. In this study, Paramyxovirus V proteins were tested for their ability to counteract constitutively active MDA5 proteins. Results indicate that the V proteins are able to bind to and disrupt the signaling activity of these MDA5 proteins, irrespective of their specific mutations, reducing IFN production and IFN-stimulated gene expression to effectively suppress the hyperactive antiviral response.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)319-332
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Interferon and Cytokine Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2018


  • MDA5
  • V protein
  • interferon
  • interferonopathy
  • paramyxovirus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Cell Biology
  • Virology

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