IJMS, Vol. 23, Pages 11692: Direct Interaction of Coronavirus Nonstructural Protein 3 with Melanoma Differentiation-Associated Gene 5 Modulates Type I Interferon Response during Coronavirus Infection (International Journal of Molecular Sciences)
Coronavirus nonstructural protein 3 (nsp3) is a multi-functional protein, playing a critical role in viral replication and in regulating host antiviral innate immunity. In this study, we demonstrate that nsp3 from severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and avian coronavirus infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) directly interacts with melanoma differentiation-associated gene 5 (MDA5), rendering an inhibitory effect on the MDA5-mediated type I interferon (IFN) response. By the co-expression of MDA5 with wild-type and truncated nsp3 constructs, at least three interacting regions mapped to the papain-like protease (PLpro) domain and two other domains located at the N- and C-terminal regions were identified in SARS-CoV-2 nsp3. Furthermore, by introducing point mutations to the catalytic triad, the deubiquitylation activity of the PLpro domain from both SARS-CoV-2 and IBV nsp3 was shown to be responsible for the suppression of the MDA5-mediated type I IFN response. It was also demonstrated that both MDA5 and nsp3 were able to interact with ubiquitin and ubiquitinated proteins, contributing to the interaction between the two proteins. This study confirms the antagonistic role of nsp3 in the MDA5-mediated type I IFN signaling, highlighting the complex interaction between a multi-functional viral protein and the innate immune response.