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Cell Rep ; 34(7): 108761, 2021 02 16.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1062276


Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a current global health threat caused by the novel coronavirus severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Emerging evidence indicates that SARS-CoV-2 elicits a dysregulated immune response and a delayed interferon (IFN) expression in patients, which contribute largely to the viral pathogenesis and development of COVID-19. However, underlying mechanisms remain to be elucidated. Here, we report the activation and repression of the innate immune response by SARS-CoV-2. We show that SARS-CoV-2 RNA activates the RIG-I-MAVS-dependent IFN signaling pathway. We further uncover that ORF9b immediately accumulates and antagonizes the antiviral type I IFN response during SARS-CoV-2 infection on primary human pulmonary alveolar epithelial cells. ORF9b targets the nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) essential modulator NEMO and interrupts its K63-linked polyubiquitination upon viral stimulation, thereby inhibiting the canonical IκB kinase alpha (IKKα)/ß/γ-NF-κB signaling and subsequent IFN production. Our findings thus unveil the innate immunosuppression by ORF9b and provide insights into the host-virus interplay during the early stage of SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/genetics , I-kappa B Kinase/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/metabolism , Adaptor Proteins, Signal Transducing/metabolism , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/metabolism , Alveolar Epithelial Cells/virology , COVID-19/immunology , COVID-19/metabolism , Coronavirus Nucleocapsid Proteins/metabolism , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Immunity, Innate/immunology , Interferon Type I/metabolism , Interferons/metabolism , NF-kappa B/metabolism , Phosphoproteins/genetics , Phosphoproteins/metabolism , Primary Cell Culture , Receptors, Retinoic Acid/metabolism , SARS-CoV-2/genetics , SARS-CoV-2/immunology , Signal Transduction , Ubiquitination