The A946T variant of the RNA sensor IFIH1 mediates an interferon program that limits viral infection but increases the risk for autoimmunity

The A946T variant of the RNA sensor IFIH1 mediates an interferon program that limits viral infection but increases the risk for autoimmunity

Abstract

The single-nucleotide polymorphism rs1990760 in the gene encoding the cytosolic viral sensor IFIH1 results in an amino-acid change (A946TIFIH1T946) that is associated with multiple autoimmune diseases. The effect of this polymorphism on both viral sensing and autoimmune pathogenesis remains poorly understood. Here we found that human peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and cell lines expressing the risk variant IFIH1T946 exhibited heightened basal and ligand-triggered production of type I interferons. Consistent with those findings, mice with a knock-in mutation encoding IFIH1T946 displayed enhanced basal expression of type I interferons, survived a lethal viralchallenge and exhibited increased penetrance in autoimmune models, including a combinatorial effect with other risk variants. Furthermore, IFIH1T946 mice manifested an embryonic survival defect consistent with enhanced responsiveness to RNA self ligands. Together our data support a model wherein the production of type I interferons driven by an autoimmune risk variant and triggered by ligand functions to protect against viral challenge, which probably accounts for its selection within human populations but provides this advantage at the cost of modestly promoting the risk of autoimmunity.

Authors: Gorman JA1, Hundhausen C2, Errett JS3,4, Stone AE3,4, Allenspach EJ1,5, Ge Y6, Arkatkar T1, Clough C1, Dai X1, Khim S1, Pestal K4, Liggitt D7, Cerosaletti K2, Stetson DB4, James RG1,5, Oukka M1,4,5, Concannon P6, Gale M Jr3,4, Buckner JH2, Rawlings DJ1,4,5.

Influence Factor: 21.506

Citation: Nat Immunol 18, 744-752 (2017).

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