Adenovirus E3/19K promotes evasion of NK cell recognition by intracellular sequestration of the NKG2D ligands major histocompatibility complex class I chain-related proteins A and B

Brian P. McSharry, Hans-Gerhard Burgert, Douglas P. Owen, Richard J. Stanton, Virginie Prod'homme, Martina Sester, Katja Koebernick, Veronika Groh, Thomas Spies, Steven Cox, Ann Margaret Little, Eddie C.Y. Wang, Peter Tomasec, Gavin W.G. Wilkinson

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83 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The adenovirus (Ad) early transcription unit 3 (E3) encodes multiple immunosubversive functions that are presumed to facilitate the establishment and persistence of infection. Indeed, the capacity of E3/19K to inhibit transport of HLA class I (HLA-I) to the cell surface, thereby preventing peptide presentation to CD8+ T cells, has long been recognized as a paradigm for viral immune evasion. However, HLA-I downregulation has the potential to render Ad-infected cells vulnerable to natural killer (NK) cell recognition. Furthermore, expression of the immediate-early Ad gene E1A is associated with efficient induction of ligands for the key NK cell-activating receptor NKG2D. Here we show that while infection with wild-type Ad enhances synthesis of the NKG2D ligands, major histocompatibility complex class I chain-related proteins A and B (MICA and MICB), their expression on the cell surface is actively suppressed. Both MICA and MICB are retained within the endoplasmic reticulum as immature endoglycosidase H-sensitive forms. By analyzing a range of cell lines and viruses carrying mutated versions of the E3 gene region, E3/19K was identified as the gene responsible for this activity. The structural requirements within E3/19K necessary to sequester MICA/B and HLA-I are similar. In functional assays, deletion of E3/19K rendered Ad-infected cells more sensitive to NK cell recognition. We report the first NK evasion function in the Adenoviridae and describe a novel function for E3/19K. Thus, E3/19K has a dual function: inhibition of T-cell recognition and NK cell activation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4585-4594
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Virology
Volume82
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2008

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