Interferon (IFN) can activate Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription (STAT) proteins to establish a cellular antiviral response and inhibit virus replication. Many viruses have evolved strategies to inhibit this antiviral mechanism, but paramyxoviruses are unique in their abilities to directly target the IFN-responsive STAT proteins. Hendra virus and Nipah virus (Henipaviruses) are recently emerged paramyxoviruses that are the causative agents of fatal disease outbreaks in Australia and peninsular Malaysia. Similar to other paramyxoviruses, Henipaviruses inhibit IFN signal transduction through a virus-encoded protein called V. Recent studies have shown that Henipavirus V proteins target STAT proteins by inducing the formation of cytoplasmically localized high molecular weight STAT-containing complexes. This sequestration of STAT1 and STAT2 prevents STAT activation and blocks antiviral IFN signaling. As the V proteins are important factors for host evasion, they represent logical targets for therapeutics directed against Henipavirus epidemics.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Molecular Medicine