Research ArticleVIRAL IMMUNITY

Influenza restriction factor MxA functions as inflammasome sensor in the respiratory epithelium

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Science Immunology  25 Oct 2019:
Vol. 4, Issue 40, eaau4643
DOI: 10.1126/sciimmunol.aau4643

Influenza and the inflammasome

Influenza A virus (IAV) infection triggers multiple inflammatory responses in the respiratory mucosa, including the release of proinflammatory cytokines like IL-1β through inflammasome activation. The mechanism by which IAV activates inflammasomes has been unclear, but Lee et al. have now identified human myxoma resistance protein 1 (MxA) as an inflammasome sensor protein in human respiratory epithelial cells. MxA recognizes IAV nucleoprotein and interacts with ASC to trigger ASC oligomerization, inflammasome formation, and IL-1β secretion. In transgenic mice expressing human MxA, IAV infection was curbed due to rapid IL-1β secretion in the respiratory epithelium. These findings indicate that MxA can function as an inflammasome sensor during respiratory infection with IAV.

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