Nipah virus V protein evades alpha and gamma interferons by preventing STAT1 and STAT2 activation and nuclear accumulation

Jason J. Rodriguez, Jean Patrick Parisien, Curt M. Horvath*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

213 Scopus citations


Characterization of recent outbreaks of fatal encephalitis in southeast Asia identified the causative agent to be a previously unrecognized enveloped negative-strand RNA virus of the Paramyxoviridae family, Nipah virus. One feature linking Nipah virus to this family is a conserved cysteine-rich domain that is the hallmark of paramyxovirus V proteins. The V proteins of other paramyxovirus species have been linked with evasion of host cell interferon (IFN) signal transduction and subsequent antiviral responses by inducing proteasomal degradation of the IFN-responsive transcription factors, STAT1 or STAT2. Here we demonstrate that Nipah virus V protein escapes IFN by a distinct mechanism involving direct inhibition of STAT protein function. Nipah virus V protein differs from other paramyxovirus V proteins in its subcellular distribution but not in its ability to inhibit cellular IFN responses. Nipah virus V protein does not induce STAT degradation but instead inhibits IFN responses by forming high-molecular-weight complexes with both STAT1 and STAT2. We demonstrate that Nipah virus V protein accumulates in the cytoplasm by a Crm1-dependent mechanism, alters the STAT protein subcellular distribution in the steady state, and prevents IFN-stimulated STAT redistribution. Consistent with the formation of complexes, STAT protein tyrosine phosphorylation is inhibited in cells expressing the Nipah virus V protein. As a result, Nipah virus V protein efficiently prevents STAT1 and STAT2 nuclear translocation in response to IFN, inhibiting cellular responses to both IFN-α and IFN-γ.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11476-11483
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of virology
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


Dive into the research topics of 'Nipah virus V protein evades alpha and gamma interferons by preventing STAT1 and STAT2 activation and nuclear accumulation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this