PLoS pathogens 2017 04 1413(4) e1006326 doi 10.1371/journal.ppat.1006326
The type I interferon pathway plays a critical role in both host defense and tolerance against viral infection and thus requires refined regulatory mechanisms. RIPK3-mediated necroptosis has been shown to be involved in anti-viral immunity. However, the exact role of RIPK3 in immunity to Influenza A Virus (IAV) is poorly understood. In line with others, we, herein, show that Ripk3-/- mice are highly susceptible to IAV infection, exhibiting elevated pulmonary viral load and heightened morbidity and mortality. Unexpectedly, this susceptibility was linked to an inability of RIKP3-deficient macrophages (Mφ) to produce type I IFN in the lungs of infected mice. In Mφ infected with IAV in vitro, we found that RIPK3 regulates type I IFN both transcriptionally, by interacting with MAVS and limiting RIPK1 interaction with MAVS, and post-transcriptionally, by activating protein kinase R (PKR)-a critical regulator of IFN-β mRNA stability. Collectively, our findings indicate a novel role for RIPK3 in regulating Mφ-mediated type I IFN anti-viral immunity, independent of its conventional role in necroptosis.