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Recent Publication

SAMHD1 impairs type I interferon induction through the MAVS, IKKε, and IRF7 signaling axis during viral infection


Sterile alpha motif and HD domain-containing protein 1 (SAMHD1) restricts human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection by reducing the intracellular dNTP pool. We have shown that SAMHD1 suppresses nuclear factor kappa-B (NF-kB) activation and type I interferon (IFN-I) induction by viral infection and inflammatory stimuli. However, the mechanism by which SAMHD1 inhibits IFN-I remains unclear. Here, we show that SAMHD1 inhibits IFN-I activation induced by the mitochondrial antiviral-signaling protein (MAVS). SAMHD1 interacted with MAVS and suppressed MAVS aggregation in response to Sendai virus (SeV) infection in human monocytic THP-1 cells. This resulted in increased phosphorylation of TANK binding kinase 1 (TBK1), inhibitor of NF-kB kinase epsilon (IKKε), and IFN regulatory factor 3 (IRF3). SAMHD1 suppressed IFN-I activation induced by IKKε and prevented IRF7 binding to the kinase domain (KD) of IKKε. We found that SAMHD1 interaction with the inhibitory domain (ID) of IRF7 (IRF7-ID) was necessary and sufficient for SAMHD1 suppression of IRF7-mediated IFN-I activation in HEK293T cells. Computational docking and molecular dynamics simulations revealed possible binding sites between IRF7-ID and full-length SAMHD1. Individual substitution of F411, E416, or V460 in IRF7-ID significantly reduced IRF7 transactivation activity and SAMHD1 binding. Furthermore, we investigated the role of SAMHD1 inhibition of IRF7-mediated IFN-I induction during HIV-1 infection. We found that THP-1 cells lacking IRF7 expression had reduced HIV-1 infection and viral transcription compared to control cells, indicating a positive role of IRF7 in HIV-1 infection. Our findings suggest that SAMHD1 suppresses IFN-I induction through the MAVS, IKKε, and IRF7 signaling axis.

  • Constanza E. Espada, Levent Sari, Michael P. Cahill, Hua Yang, Stacia Phillips, Nicholas Martinez, Adam D. Kenney, Jacob S. Yount, Yong Xiong, Milo M. Lin, Li Wu