RNase L Amplifies Interferon Signaling by Inducing Protein Kinase R-Mediated Antiviral Stress Granules Article (Faculty180)

cited authors

  • Manivannan, Praveen; Siddiqui, Moh A; Malathi, Krishnamurthy


  • Virus infection leads to activation of the interferon (IFN)-induced endoribonuclease RNase L, which results in degradation of viral and cellular RNAs. Both cellular and viral RNA cleavage products of RNase L bind pattern recognition receptors (PRRs), like retinoic acid-inducible I (Rig-I) and melanoma differentiation-associated protein 5 (MDA5), to further amplify IFN production and antiviral response. Although much is known about the mechanics of ligand binding and PRR activation, how cells coordinate RNA sensing with signaling response and interferon production remains unclear. We show that RNA cleavage products of RNase L activity induce the formation of antiviral stress granules (avSGs) by regulating activation of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-dependent protein kinase R (PKR) and recruit the antiviral proteins Rig-I, PKR, OAS, and RNase L to avSGs. Biochemical analysis of purified avSGs showed interaction of a key stress granule protein, G3BP1, with only PKR and Rig-I and not with OAS or RNase L. AvSG assembly during RNase L activation is required for IRF3-mediated IFN production, but not IFN signaling or proinflammatory cytokine induction. Consequently, cells lacking avSG formation or RNase L signaling produced less IFN and showed higher susceptibility during Sendai virus infection, demonstrating the importance of avSGs in RNase L-mediated host defense. We propose a role during viral infection for RNase L-cleaved RNAs in inducing avSGs containing antiviral proteins to provide a platform for efficient interaction of RNA ligands with pattern recognition receptors to enhance IFN production to mount an effective antiviral response. Double-stranded RNAs produced during viral infections serve as pathogen-associated molecular patterns (PAMPs) and bind pattern recognition receptors to stimulate IFN production. RNase L is an IFN-regulated endoribonuclease that is activated in virus-infected cells and cleaves single-stranded viral and cellular RNAs. The RNase L-cleaved dsRNAs signal to Rig-like helicases to amplify IFN production. This study identifies a novel role of antiviral stress granules induced by RNase L as an antiviral signaling hub to coordinate the RNA ligands with cognate receptors to mount an effective host response during viral infections.

publication date

  • 2020

published in


  • 94