Kesavardhana S, et al. The Zα2 domain of ZBP1 is a molecular switch regulating influenza-induced PANoptosis and perinatal lethality during development.. J Biol Chem. 2020 Apr 29.
Z-DNA-binding protein 1 (ZBP1) is an innate immune sensor of nucleic acids that regulates both host defense responses and development. ZBP1 activation triggers inflammation and pyroptosis, necroptosis, and apoptosis (PANoptosis) by activating receptor-interacting Ser/Thr kinase 3 (RIPK3), caspase-8, and the NLRP3 inflammasome. ZBP1 is unique among innate immune sensors because of its N-terminal Zα1 and Zα2 domains, which bind to nucleic acids in the Z-conformation. However, the specific role of these Zα domains in orchestrating ZBP1 activation and subsequent inflammation and cell death is not clear. Here we generated Zbp1ΔZα2/ΔZα2 mice that express ZBP1 lacking the Zα2 domain and demonstrate that this domain is critical for influenza A virus (IAV)-induced PANoptosis and underlies the perinatal lethality in mice in which the RHIM domain of RIPK1 had been mutated (Ripk1mRHIM/mRHIM). Deletion of the Zα2 domain in ZBP1 abolished IAV-induced PANoptosis and NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Furthermore, deletion of the Zα2 domain of ZBP1 was sufficient to rescue Ripk1mRHIM/mRHIM mice from the perinatal lethality which is caused by ZBP1-driven cell death and inflammation. Our findings identify the essential role of the Zα2 domain of ZBP1 in several physiological functions and establish a link between Z-RNA sensing via the Zα2 domain and the promotion of influenza-induced PANoptosis and perinatal lethality.
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