Is tetherin a true antiviral: The influenza a virus controversy

Anshika Sharma, Sunil K. Lal

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleResearchpeer-review

    4 Citations (Scopus)


    Tetherin, an interferon-inducible gene was first discovered to be an antiviral factor in 2008. A vast range of viruses, such as influenza A virus (IAV), dengue virus, Ebola virus, HIV, and RSV, have been reported to be susceptible to the antiviral activity of tetherin. Multiple reports have been published encompassing the role of tetherin in the IAV life cycle. To date, nine reports have been published regarding the role of tetherin in the IAV life cycle, with four reports supporting tetherin as an antiviral factor while five other reports suggesting no effect. To this end, this review summarizes the list of viruses currently known to be inhibited by tetherin and describes mechanisms used by viruses to overcome the antiviral potential of tetherin. Further, using IAV as disease model, we provide existing evidence in favor and against tetherin being considered as an antiviral candidate. Subsequent analysis of the experimental procedures across IAV-tetherin published reports revealed that the experimental setup (ie, cell lines, transfection reagents, and multiplicity of infection), strain-specific activity of NS1, and differing roles of NS1 in different cell lines may add up to the contributing factors leading to the discrepancies observed.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article numbere2036
    Number of pages10
    JournalReviews in Medical Virology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - May 2019


    • antiviral factor
    • BST-2
    • CD317
    • interferon-inducible gene

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