Porcine deltacoronavirus nucleocapsid protein antagonizes IFN-β production by impairing dsRNA and PACT binding to RIG-I.


Department of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, College of Animal Science and Technology, Jiangxi Agricultural University, Zhimin Street, Qingshan Lake, Nanchang, 330045, China. [Email]


Porcine deltacoronavirus (PDCoV) is an emerging swine enteropathogenic coronavirus that causes watery diarrhea, vomiting and mortality in newborn piglets. Previous studies have suggested that PDCoV infection antagonizes RIG-I-like receptor (RLR)-mediated IFN-β production to evade host innate immune defense, and PDCoV-encoded nonstructural protein nsp5 and accessory protein NS6 are associated with this process. However, whether the structural protein(s) of PDCoV also antagonize IFN-β production remains unclear. In this study, we found that PDCoV nucleocapsid (N) protein, the most abundant viral structural protein, suppressed Sendai virus (SEV)-induced IFN-β production and transcription factor IRF3 activation, but did not block IFN-β production induced by overexpressing RIG-I/MDA5. Furthermore, study revealed that PDCoV N protein interacted with RIG-I and MDA5 in an in vitro overexpression system and evident interactions between N protein and RIG-I could be detected in the context of PDCoV infection, which interfered with the binding of dsRNA and protein activator of protein kinase R (PACT) to RIG-I. Together, our results demonstrate that PDCoV N protein is an IFN antagonist and utilizes diverse strategies to attenuate RIG-I recognition and activation.


Interferon,Nucleocapsid,Porcine deltacoronavirus,RIG-I,RNA binding,