Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Vaccinia protein C16 blocks innate immune sensing of DNA by binding the Ku complex
Author: Peters, Nicholas Edward
ISNI:       0000 0004 2706 3757
Awarding Body: Imperial College London
Current Institution: Imperial College London
Date of Award: 2011
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
VACV gene C16L encodes a 37-kDa protein that is highly conserved in orthopoxviruses and functions as an immunomodulator. Intranasal infection of mice with a virus lacking C16L (vΔC16) induced less weight loss, fewer signs of illness and increased infiltration of leukocytes to the lungs compared with wild-type virus. To understand C16’s mechanism of action, tandem affinity purification and mass spectrometry were used to identify C16 binding partners. This revealed that Ku70, Ku80 and PHD2 interact with C16 in cells. Ku70 and Ku80 constitute the Ku heterodimer, a well characterised DNA repair complex. MEFs lacking Ku, or the other component of the DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) complex, the catalytic subunit of DNA-PK (DNA-PKcs), were shown to be deficient in the upregulation of IRF-3-dependent genes such as Cxcl10, Il6 and Ifnb in response to transfection of DNA, but not poly (I:C). Furthermore, following infection of MEFs with VACV strain MVA the activation of Cxcl10 or Il6 transcription was dependent on DNA-PK. Therefore, DNA-PK is a DNA sensor capable of detecting poxvirus DNA and activating IRF-3-dependent innate immunity. C16 inhibited the binding of Ku to DNA, and therefore inhibited DNA-mediated induction of Cxcl10 and Il-6 in MEFs. The role of C16 in vivo was also examined: infection with vΔC16 led to increased production of Cxcl10 and Il-6 following intranasal infection of mice compared with wild-type virus. C16 is therefore an inhibitor of DNA-PK-mediated DNA sensing and innate immune activation. C16 was also shown to bind to PHD2, an enzyme involved in regulation of hypoxic signalling. VACV was found to activate the transcription of hypoxia-related genes, and C16 expression in cells was also capable of doing this. The role of hypoxic signalling in VACV infection remains poorly understood.
Supervisor: Smith, Geoffrey Sponsor: Medical Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral