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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The KSHV immediate-early transcription factor RTA encodes ubiquitin E3 ligase activity that targets IRF7 for proteosome-mediated degradation.

Many viruses encode proteins that counteract the development of the interferon (IFN)-mediated antiviral state. Here, we report that interferon regulatory factor 7 (IRF7), a key mediator of type I IFN induction, is targeted for degradation by binding to the RTA immediate-early nuclear transcription factor encoded by Kaposi's sarcoma-associated herpesvirus (KSHV or HHV8). Cotransfection with RTA blocked IRF7- mediated IFNalpha and IFNbeta mRNA production and promoted the ubiquitination and degradation of IRF7 protein in a proteasome-dependent fashion. Addition of RTA also promoted polyubiquitination of IRF7 in an in vitro cell free assay, demonstrating that RTA itself acts as a ubiquitin E3 ligase. RTA also autoregulated its own polyubiquitination and stability, and both activities were abolished by point mutations in a Cys plus His-rich N-terminal domain. Therefore, manipulation of the stability and function of IRF7 by the KSHV RTA transcription factor provides an unexpected regulatory strategy for circumventing the innate immune defence system.[1]


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