Liu X, et al. Evidence for a novel mechanism of influenza A virus host adaption modulated by PB2-627. FEBS J. 2019 Apr 29.
Influenza virus cross-species transmission is restricted by the host, but viruses overcome this restriction by accumulating mutations which allow them to adapt to a new host. Among the many factors which facilitate virus host adaptation, the polymerase subunit 2 (PB2) 627 plays an important role, although the underlying molecular mechanism has not been fully understood. In a previous study, we found that histone H1.2 (encoded by HIST1H1C) regulates human or avian influenza virus replication in different ways, indicating that it might be involved in virus host adaption. Herein, we found that HIST1H1C expression, phosphorylation and methylation levels are decreased when infected with H1N1 influenza virus and increased when infected with H5N1 influenza virus. Overexpressing the eight gene segments of the influenza virus, we found that only PB2 significantly affects HIST1H1C expression and modifications. Since the 627 site is different between the H5N1 and H1N1 influenza viruses we constructed PB2-627E (avian variant) and PB2-627K (human variant) mutant viruses, and observed that the effects of the wild-type and the mutant viruses on HIST1H1C expression and modifications are opposite. Further analysis showed that influenza virus PB2-627 regulates HIST1H1C expression via Sp1, and specifically that PB2-627K down-regulates Sp1 and HIST1H1C while PB2-627E up-regulates Sp1 and HIST1H1C. In addition, HIST1H1C can feedback regulate DNA-PK and EHMT1/2, leading to altered HIST1H1C phosphorylation and methylation levels, and affecting influenza virus replication accordingly. In summary, this study illustrates the mechanism of PB2-627E/K-mediated regulation of influenza virus host adaption.
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