Differential type I IFN-inducing abilities of wild-type versus vaccine strains of measles virus

Masashi Shingai, Takashi Ebihara, Nasim A. Begum, Atsushi Kato, Toshiki Honma, Kenji Matsumoto, Hirohisa Saito, Hisashi Ogura, Misako Matsumoto, Tsukasa Seya*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

104 Scopus citations


Laboratory adapted and vaccine strains of measles virus (MV) induced type I IFN in infected cells. The wild-type strains in contrast induced it to a far lesser extent. We have investigated the mechanism for this differential type I IFN induction in monocyte-derived dendritic cells infected with representative MV strains. Laboratory adapted strains Nagahata and Edmonston infected monocyte-derived dendritic cells and activated IRF-3 followed by IFN-β production, while wild-type MS failed to activate IRF-3. The viral IRF-3 activation is induced within 2 h, an early response occurring before protein synthesis. Receptor usage of CD46 or CD150 and nucleocapsid (N) protein variations barely affected the strain-to-strain difference in IFN-inducing abilities. Strikingly, most of the IFN-inducing strains possessed defective interference (DI) RNAs of varying sizes. In addition, an artificially produced DI RNA consisting of stem (the leader and trailer of MV) and loop (the GFP sequence) exhibited potential IFN-inducing ability. In this case, however, cytoplasmic introduction was needed for DI RNA to induce type I IFN in target cells. By genesilencing analysis, DI RNA activated the RIG-I/MDA5-mitochondria antiviral signaling pathway, but not the TLR3-TICAM-1 pathway. DI RNA-containing strains induced IFN-β mRNA within 2 h while the same recombinant strains with no DI RNA required >12 h postinfection to attain similar levels of IFN-β mRNA. Thus, the stem-loop structure, rather than full genome replication or specific internal sequences of the MV genome, is required for an early phase of type I IFN induction by MV in host cells.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6123-6133
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology


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