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      Interferon-Induced Genes of the Expanded IFIT Family Show Conserved Antiviral Activities in Non-Mammalian Species

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          Interferon-induced proteins with tetratricopeptide repeats (IFITs) are involved in the protective response to viral infection, although the precise mechanism of IFITs for reducing viral proliferation is currently unknown. The interaction with the translation initiation factor eIF-3 or viral proteins and the sequestering of viral RNA have been proposed as potential antiviral functions for these proteins. In humans, four members of this family have been characterized. Nevertheless, information about these proteins in fish is almost non-existent. Exploiting the conservation of synteny between human and zebrafish genomes, we have identified ten members of the IFIT family located on four different chromosomes. The induction of these genes was examined both in vitro and in vivo after interferon (IFN) administration and rhabdovirus challenge. Whereas an induction of IFIT genes was observed after interferon treatments (IFNΦ1, IFNΦ2 and IFNΦ3), the viral infection did not affect these IFN-induced genes in vitro, and even reduced the IFN-induced expression of these genes. The response was largely different in vivo, with a broad up-regulation of IFIT genes after viral challenge. In addition, three selected IFITs were cloned in an expression vector and microinjected into zebrafish larvae to examine the protective effect of IFITs upon viral infection. Reduction in the mortality rate was observed confirming a conserved antiviral function in non-mammalian species.

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          Most cited references 51

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          Interferons and viruses: an interplay between induction, signalling, antiviral responses and virus countermeasures.

          The interferon (IFN) system is an extremely powerful antiviral response that is capable of controlling most, if not all, virus infections in the absence of adaptive immunity. However, viruses can still replicate and cause disease in vivo, because they have some strategy for at least partially circumventing the IFN response. We reviewed this topic in 2000 [Goodbourn, S., Didcock, L. & Randall, R. E. (2000). J Gen Virol 81, 2341-2364] but, since then, a great deal has been discovered about the molecular mechanisms of the IFN response and how different viruses circumvent it. This information is of fundamental interest, but may also have practical application in the design and manufacture of attenuated virus vaccines and the development of novel antiviral drugs. In the first part of this review, we describe how viruses activate the IFN system, how IFNs induce transcription of their target genes and the mechanism of action of IFN-induced proteins with antiviral action. In the second part, we describe how viruses circumvent the IFN response. Here, we reflect upon possible consequences for both the virus and host of the different strategies that viruses have evolved and discuss whether certain viruses have exploited the IFN response to modulate their life cycle (e.g. to establish and maintain persistent/latent infections), whether perturbation of the IFN response by persistent infections can lead to chronic disease, and the importance of the IFN system as a species barrier to virus infections. Lastly, we briefly describe applied aspects that arise from an increase in our knowledge in this area, including vaccine design and manufacture, the development of novel antiviral drugs and the use of IFN-sensitive oncolytic viruses in the treatment of cancer.
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            The past few years have seen the development of powerful statistical methods for detecting adaptive molecular evolution. These methods compare synonymous and nonsynonymous substitution rates in protein-coding genes, and regard a nonsynonymous rate elevated above the synonymous rate as evidence for darwinian selection. Numerous cases of molecular adaptation are being identified in various systems from viruses to humans. Although previous analyses averaging rates over sites and time have little power, recent methods designed to detect positive selection at individual sites and lineages have been successful. Here, we summarize recent statistical methods for detecting molecular adaptation, and discuss their limitations and possible improvements.
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              Characteristics of a human cell line transformed by DNA from human adenovirus type 5.

              Human embryonic kidney cells have been transformed by exposing cells to sheared fragments of adenovirus type 5 DNA. The transformed cells (designated 293 cells) exhibited many of the characteristics of transformation including the elaboration of a virus-specific tumour antigen. Analysis of the polypeptides synthesized in the 293 cells by labelling with 35S-methionine and SDS PAGE showed a variable pattern of synthesis, different in a number of respects from that seen in otheruman cells. On labelling the surface of cells by lactoperoxidase catalysed radio-iodination, the absence of a labelled polypeptide analogous to the 250 K (LETS) glycoprotein was noted. Hybridization of labelled cellular RNA with restriction fragments of adenovirus type 5 DNA indicated transcription of a portion of the adenovirus genome at the conventional left hand end.

                Author and article information

                Role: Editor
                PLoS One
                PLoS ONE
                PLoS ONE
                Public Library of Science (San Francisco, USA )
                20 June 2014
                : 9
                : 6
                Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas (IIM), CSIC, Vigo, Spain
                University of Berne, Switzerland
                Author notes

                Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

                Conceived and designed the experiments: BN AF. Performed the experiments: MV PDR PP GFC SD MMC AR. Analyzed the data: MV PDR PP GFC MMC AF BN. Contributed reagents/materials/analysis tools: SD AR AF BN. Wrote the paper: MV PDR PP BN.


                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

                Page count
                Pages: 14
                This study was funded through the project CSD2007-00002 “Aquagenomics” and AGL2011-28921 from the Spanish Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovación. The authors’ laboratory is also funded by ITN 289209 “FISHFORPHARMA” (EU) and project 201230E057 from the Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC). P. Diaz-Rosales received a JAE-Doc contract from the CSIC, Spain, and P. Pereiro and M. Varela received predoctoral grants from the Ministerio de Educación (F.P.U. fellowship AP2010-2408) and the JAE Program (funded though the CSIC and European Social Funds), respectively. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.
                Research Article
                Biology and Life Sciences
                Veterinary Science
                Veterinary Diseases
                Research and Analysis Methods
                Model Organisms



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