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Pathogen pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) trigger innate immune responses to invading pathogens. All known PRRs for viral RNA have extranuclear localization. However, for many viruses, replication generates dsRNA in the nucleus. Here, we show that the nuclear matrix protein SAFA (also known as HnRNPU) functions as a nuclear viral dsRNA sensor for both DNA and RNA viruses. Upon recognition of viral dsRNA, SAFA oligomerizes and activates the enhancers of antiviral genes, including IFNB1. Moreover, SAFA is required for the activation of super-enhancers, which direct vigorous immune gene transcription to establish the antiviral state. Myeloid-specific SAFA-deficient mice were more susceptible to lethal HSV-1 and VSV infection, with decreased type I IFNs. Thus, SAFA functions as a nuclear viral RNA sensor and trans-activator to bridge innate sensing with chromatin remodeling and potentiate robust antiviral responses.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Cell host & microbe
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A broad category of nuclear proteins that are components of or participate in the formation of the NUCLEAR MATRIX.
Proteins associated with the inner surface of the lipid bilayer of the viral envelope. These proteins have been implicated in control of viral transcription and may possibly serve as the "glue" that binds the nucleocapsid to the appropriate membrane site during viral budding from the host cell.
Trans-acting transcription factors produced by retroviruses such as HIV. They are nuclear proteins whose expression is required for viral replication. The tat protein stimulates LONG TERMINAL REPEAT-driven RNA synthesis for both viral regulatory and viral structural proteins. tat stands for trans-activation of transcription.
Nuclear antigens encoded by VIRAL GENES found in HUMAN HERPESVIRUS 4. At least six nuclear antigens have been identified.
Nuclear matrix proteins that are structural components of the NUCLEAR LAMINA. They are found in most multicellular organisms.
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