The interferon antiviral system is a primary barrier to virus replication triggered upon recognition of nonself RNAs by the cytoplasmic sensors encoded by retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I), melanoma differentiation-associated gene 5 (MDA5), and laboratory of genetics and physiology gene 2 (LGP2). Paramyxovirus V proteins are interferon antagonists that can selectively interact with MDA5 and LGP2 through contact with a discrete helicase domain region. Interaction with MDA5, an activator of antiviral signaling, disrupts interferon gene expression and antiviral responses. LGP2 has more diverse reported roles as both a coactivator of MDA5 and a negative regulator of both RIG-I and MDA5. This functional dichotomy, along with the concurrent interference with both cellular targets, has made it difficult to assess the unique consequences of V protein interaction with LGP2. To directly evaluate the impact of LGP2 interference, MDA5 and LGP2 variants unable to be recognized by measles virus and parainfluenza virus 5 (PIV5) V proteins were tested in signaling assays. Results indicate that interaction with LGP2 specifically prevents coactivation of MDA5 signaling and that LGP2's negative regulatory capacity was not affected. V proteins only partially antagonize RIG-I at high concentrations, and their expression had no additive effects on LGP2-mediated negative regulation. However, conversion of RIG-I to a direct V protein target was accomplished by only two amino acid substitutions that allowed both V protein interaction and efficient interference. These results clarify the unique consequences of MDA5 and LGP2 interference by paramyxovirus V proteins and help resolve the distinct roles of LGP2 in both activation and inhibition of antiviral signal transduction.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science