Journal of virology 2017 10 18() pii 10.1128/JVI.01690-17
Innate immunity provides an immediate defense against infection after host cells sense "danger" signals from microbes. Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress arises from accumulation of misfolded/unfolded proteins when protein load overwhelms the ER folding capacity, which activates the unfolded protein response (UPR) to restore the ER homeostasis. Here, we show that a mechanism for antiviral innate immunity is triggered after the ER stress pathway senses viral glycoproteins. When hemagglutinin (HA) glycoproteins from influenza A virus (IAV) are expressed in cells, ER stress is induced, resulting in rapid HA degradation via proteasomes. The ER-associated protein degradation (ERAD) pathway, an important UPR function for destruction of aberrant proteins, mediates HA degradation. Three class I α-mannosidases were identified to play a critical role in the degradation process, including EDEM1, EDEM2, and ERManI. HA degradation requires either ERManI enzymatic activity or EDEM1/EDEM2 enzymatic activity, when ERManI is not expressed, indicating that demannosylation is a critical step for HA degradation. Silencing of EDEM1, EDEM2, and ERManI strongly increases HA expression and promotes IAV replication. Thus, the ER stress pathway senses influenza HA as "non-self" or misfolded protein, and sorts HA to ERAD for degradation, resulting in inhibition of IAV replication.IMPORTANCE Viral nucleic acids are recognized as important inducers of innate antiviral immune responses that are sensed by multiple classes of sensors, but other inducers and sensors of viral innate immunity need to be identified and characterized. Here, we used influenza A virus (IAV) to investigate how host innate immunity is activated. We found that IAV hemagglutinin (HA) glycoproteins induce ER stress, resulting in HA degradation via ERAD and consequent inhibition of IAV replication. In addition, we have identified three class I α-mannosidases, EDEM1, EDEM2, and ERManI, which play a critical role in initiating HA degradation. Knockdown of these proteins substantially increases HA expression and IAV replication. The enzymatic activities and joint actions of these mannosidases are required for this antiviral activity. Our results suggest that viral glycoproteins induce a strong innate antiviral response through activating the ER stress pathway during viral infection.