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TRIM22 suppresses Zika virus replication by targeting NS1 and NS3 for proteasomal degradation



Recognition of viral invasion by innate antiviral immune system triggers activation of the type I interferon (IFN-I) and proinflammatory signaling pathways. Subsequently, IFN-I induction regulates expression of a group of genes known as IFN-I-stimulated genes (ISGs) to block viral infection. The tripartite motif containing 22 (TRIM22) is an ISG with strong antiviral functions.


Here we have shown that the TRIM22 has been strongly upregulated both transcriptionally and translationally upon Zika virus (ZIKV) infection. ZIKV infection is associated with a wide range of clinical manifestations in human from mild to severe symptoms including abnormal fetal brain development. We found that the antiviral function of TRIM22 plays a crucial role in counterattacking ZIKV infection. Overexpression of TRIM22 protein inhibited ZIKV growth whereas deletion of TRIM22 in host cells increased ZIKV infectivity. Mechanistically, TRIM22, as a functional E3 ubiquitin ligase, promoted the ubiquitination and degradation of ZIKV nonstructural protein 1 (NS1) and nonstructural protein 3 (NS3). Further studies showed that the SPRY domain and Ring domain of TRIM22 played important roles in protein interaction and degradation, respectively. In addition, we found that TRIM22 also inhibited other flaviviruses infection including dengue virus (DENV) and yellow fever virus (YFV).


Thus, TRIM22 is an ISG with important role in host defense against flaviviruses through binding and degradation of the NS1 and NS3 proteins.

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