The ORF6, ORF8 and nucleocapsid proteins of SARS-CoV-2 inhibit type I interferon signaling pathway.Virus Res. 2020 09; 286:198074.VR
The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is a novel human coronavirus causing the pandemic of severe pneumonia (Coronavirus Disease 2019, COVID-19). SARS-CoV-2 is highly pathogenic in human, having posed immeasurable public health challenges to the world. Innate immune response is critical for the host defense against viral infection and the dysregulation of the host innate immune responses probably aggravates SARS-CoV-2 infection, contributing to the high morbidity and lethality of COVID-19. It has been reported that some coronavirus proteins play an important role in modulating innate immunity of the host, but few studies have been conducted on SARS-CoV-2. In this study, we screened the viral proteins of SARS-CoV-2 and found that the viral ORF6, ORF8 and nucleocapsid proteins were potential inhibitors of type I interferon signaling pathway, a key component for antiviral response of host innate immune. All the three proteins showed strong inhibition on type I interferon (IFN-β) and NF-κB-responsive promoter, further examination revealed that these proteins were able to inhibit the interferon-stimulated response element (ISRE) after infection with Sendai virus, while only ORF6 and ORF8 proteins were able to inhibit the ISRE after treatment with interferon beta. These findings would be helpful for the further study of the detailed signaling pathway and unveil the key molecular player that may be targeted.