Influenza A virus infection induces viral and cellular defective ribosomal products encoded by alternative reading frames

Damien J. Zanker, Sara Oveissi, David C. Tscharke, Mubing Duan, Siyuan Wan, Xiaomu Zhang, Kun Xiao, Nicole A. Mifsud, James Gibbs, Lenny Izzard, Daniel Dlugolenski, Pierre Faou, Karen L. Laurie, Nathalie Vigneron, Ian G. Barr, John Stambas, Benoît J. Van Den Eynde, Jack R. Bennink, Jonathan W. Yewdell, Weisan Chen

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13 Citations (Scopus)


The importance of antiviral CD8+ T cell recognition of alternative reading frame (ARF)-derived peptides is uncertain. In this study, we describe an epitope (NS1-ARF21-8) present in a predicted 14-residue peptide encoded by the +1 register of NS1 mRNA in the influenza A virus (IAV). NS1-ARF21-8 elicits a robust, highly functional CD8+ T cell response in IAV-infected BALB/c mice. NS1-ARF21-8 is presented from unspliced NS mRNA, likely from downstream initiation on a Met residue that comprises the P1 position of NS1-ARF21-8. Derived from a 14-residue peptide with no apparent biological function and negligible impacts on IAV infection, infectivity, and pathogenicity, NS1-ARF21-8 provides a clear demonstration of how immunosurveillance exploits natural errors in protein translation to provide antiviral immunity. We further show that IAV infection enhances a model cellular ARF translation, which potentially has important implications for virus-induced autoimmunity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3370-3380
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2019

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