Cell type-specific recognition of human metapneumoviruses (HMPVs) by retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I) and TLR7 and viral interference of RIG-I ligand recognition by HMPV-B1 phosphoprotein

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases and Immunology

Publication Date


Document Type



Animals; Cell Line; Cell Line, Tumor; Cercopithecus aethiops; DEAD-box RNA Helicases; Gene Expression Regulation, Viral; Humans; Immunity, Innate; Interferon-alpha; Interferon-beta; Ligands; Metapneumovirus; Mice; Mice, Inbred C57BL; Mice, Knockout; Paramyxoviridae Infections; Phosphoproteins; RNA, Viral; Species Specificity; Toll-Like Receptor 7; Vero Cells; Viral Interference


Immunology and Infectious Disease | Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


Human metapneumoviruses (HMPVs) are recently identified Paramyxoviridae that contribute to respiratory tract infections in children. No effective treatments or vaccines are available. Successful defense against virus infection relies on early detection by germ line-encoded pattern recognition receptors and activation of cytokine and type I IFN genes. Recently, the RNA helicase retinoic acid-inducible gene I (RIG-I) has been shown to sense HMPV. In this study, we investigated the abilities of two prototype strains of HMPV (A1 [NL\1\00] and B1 [NL\1\99]) to activate RIG-I and induce type I IFNs. Despite the abilities of both HMPV-A1 and HMPV-B1 to infect and replicate in cell lines and primary cells, only the HMPV-A1 strain triggered RIG-I to induce IFNA/B gene transcription. The failure of the HMPV-B1 strain to elicit type I IFN production was dependent on the B1 phosphoprotein, which specifically prevented RIG-I-mediated sensing of HMPV viral 5' triphosphate RNA. In contrast to most cell types, plasmacytoid dendritic cells displayed a unique ability to sense both HMPV-A1 and HMPV-B1 and in this case sensing was via TLR7 rather than RIG-I. Collectively, these data reveal differential mechanisms of sensing for two closely related viruses, which operate in cell type-specific manners.

DOI of Published Version



J Immunol. 2010 Feb 1;184(3):1168-79. Epub 2009 Dec 30. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)

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Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID