SAMHD1 suppresses innate immune responses to viral infections and inflammatory stimuli by inhibiting the NF-κB and interferon pathways.

Chen S, Bonifati S, Qin Z, St Gelais C, Kodigepalli KM, Barrett BS, Kim SH, Antonucci JM, Ladner KJ, Buzovetsky O, Knecht KM, Xiong Y, Yount JS, Guttridge DC, Santiago ML, Wu L
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 115 E3798-E3807 01/17/2018

Abstract

Sterile alpha motif and HD-domain-containing protein 1 (SAMHD1) blocks replication of retroviruses and certain DNA viruses by reducing the intracellular dNTP pool. SAMHD1 has been suggested to down-regulate IFN and inflammatory responses to viral infections, although the functions and mechanisms of SAMHD1 in modulating innate immunity remain unclear. Here, we show that SAMHD1 suppresses the innate immune responses to viral infections and inflammatory stimuli by inhibiting nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) activation and type I interferon (IFN-I) induction. Compared with control cells, infection of SAMHD1-silenced human monocytic cells or primary macrophages with Sendai virus (SeV) or HIV-1, or treatment with inflammatory stimuli, induces significantly higher levels of NF-κB activation and IFN-I induction. Exogenous SAMHD1 expression in cells or SAMHD1 reconstitution in knockout cells suppresses NF-κB activation and IFN-I induction by SeV infection or inflammatory stimuli. Mechanistically, SAMHD1 inhibits NF-κB activation by interacting with NF-κB1/2 and reducing phosphorylation of the NF-κB inhibitory protein IκBα. SAMHD1 also interacts with the inhibitor-κB kinase ε (IKKε) and IFN regulatory factor 7 (IRF7), leading to the suppression of the IFN-I induction pathway by reducing IKKε-mediated IRF7 phosphorylation. Interactions of endogenous SAMHD1 with NF-κB and IFN-I pathway proteins were validated in human monocytic cells and primary macrophages. Comparing splenocytes from

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