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Title: JMJD6 dioxygenase regulates macrophage host responses and is a proviral host factor for vaccinia and influenza A virus growth
Author: Kwok, Chi Ting Janice
ISNI:       0000 0004 7429 8073
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2018
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Jumonji C (JmjC) domain containing proteins comprise a large family of enzymes that catalyse oxidative reactions. The jumonji domain containing protein 6 (JMJD6) has pleiotropic functions as a lysyl hydroxylase and arginyl demethylase. Previous studies have shown that Jmjd6 is involved in histone modification, mRNA splicing and regulation of polymerase II pause release. A constitutive knockout of Jmjd6 in mice is neonatal lethal and shows defects in macrophage host responses. Recently, JMJD6 was shown to support Foot-and-mouth disease virus replication through interactions with the dead-box RNA helicase Dhx9. This PhD thesis aims to further explore functions of Jmjd6 in macrophages and its roles during viral infections. The hypothesis is that through interactions with RNA helicases, Jmjd6 regulates host responses to foreign nucleic acids and/or has functions as a host factor for replication of DNA and/or RNA viruses. Testing of this hypothesis required the generation of Jmjd6-deficient cell recourses. A new conditional Jmjd6 mouse allele was characterised and a method optimised to knockout the gene in bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDM) using TAT-Cre recombinase. To study vaccinia (VACV) and influenza A virus (IAV) infections in human cell lines, JMJD6 was depleted using RNA interference or CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing. In BMDM, JMJD6 expression was up-regulated in the late phase of lipopolysaccharide stimulation. The nuclear expression pattern of Jmjd6 in BMDM overlapped with that of DDX41 but not with DHX9, two RNA helicases that have been implicated in sensing of viral DNA and RNA, respectively. Deletion of Jmjd6 in BMDM reduced induction of type I interferon response genes after stimulation with synthetic analogs of viral RNA. To characterise the role of JMJD6 during infection with a DNA virus, Jmjd6-deficient cells were infected with VACV. Knockout of Jmjd6 reduced VACV growth in macrophages but not in HeLa cells. In contrast to HeLa cells, Jmjd6-deficient macrophages displayed abnormal localisations of viral factories and increased cell death, showing that Jmjd6 is specifically required for productive VACV infection in macrophages. To further analyse whether Jmjd6 has pro- or anti-viral functions during RNA virus infection, JMJD6 depleted A549 cells were infected with IAV. JMJD6 depletion in A549 drastically reduced IAV growth from an early stage of infection. Preliminary data indicate that this phenotype is related to a defect in nuclear import of IAV ribonucleoprotein complexes. In summary, this work has identified JMJD6 as a novel pro-viral host factor for VACV and IAV infection and has underpinned its importance for macrophage functions.
Supervisor: Lengeling, Andreas ; Hume, David Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Jumonji C domain ; JMJD6 ; macrophages ; Jmjd6-depleted macrophages ; Influenza A virus