Duck interferon-inducible transmembrane protein 3 mediates restriction of influenza viruses

Graham A.D. Blyth, Wing Fuk Chan, Robert G. Webster, Katharine E. Magor

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36 Citations (Scopus)


Interferon-inducible transmembrane proteins (IFITMs) can restrict the entry of a wide range of viruses. IFITM3 localizes to endosomes and can potently restrict the replication of influenza A viruses (IAV) and several other viruses that also enter host cells through the endocytic pathway. Here, we investigate whether IFITMs are involved in protection in ducks, the natural host of influenza virus. We identify and sequence duck IFITM1, IFITM2, IFITM3, and IFITM5. Using quantitative PCR (qPCR), we demonstrate the upregulation of these genes in lung tissue in response to highly pathogenic IAV infection by 400-fold, 30-fold, 30-fold, and 5-fold, respectively. We express each IFITM in chicken DF-1 cells and show duck IFITM1 localizes to the cell surface, while IFITM3 localizes to LAMP1-containing compartments. DF-1 cells stably expressing duck IFITM3 (but not IFITM1 or IFITM2) show increased restriction of replication of H1N1, H6N2, and H11N9 IAV strains but not vesicular stomatitis virus. Although duck and human IFITM3 share only 38% identity, critical residues for viral restriction are conserved. We generate chimeric and mutant IFITM3 proteins and show duck IFITM3 does not require its N-terminal domain for endosomal localization or antiviral function; however, this N-terminal end confers endosomal localization and antiviral function on IFITM1. In contrast to mammalian IFITM3, the conserved YXXθ endocytosis signal sequence in the N-terminal domain of duck IFITM3 is not essential for correct endosomal localization. Despite significant structural and amino acid divergence, presumably due to hostvirus coevolution, duck IFITM3 is functional against IAV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-116
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes

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