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    The induction of interferon (IFN)-stimulated genes by STATs is a critical host defense mechanism against virus infection. Here, we report that a highly expressed poxvirus protein, 018, inhibits IFN-induced signaling by binding to the SH2 domain of STAT1, thereby preventing the association of STAT1 with an activated IFN receptor. Despite encoding other inhibitors of IFN-induced signaling, a poxvirus mutant lacking 018 was attenuated in mice. The 2.0 Å crystal structure of the 018:STAT1 complex reveals a phosphotyrosine-independent mode of 018 binding to the SH2 domain of STAT1. Moreover, the STAT1-binding motif of 018 shows similarity to the STAT1-binding proteins from Nipah virus, which, similar to 018, block the association of STAT1 with an IFN receptor. Overall, these results uncover a conserved mechanism of STAT1 antagonism that is employed independently by distinct virus families. Copyright © 2022 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


    Callum Talbot-Cooper, Teodors Pantelejevs, John P Shannon, Christian R Cherry, Marcus T Au, Marko Hyvönen, Heather D Hickman, Geoffrey L Smith. Poxviruses and paramyxoviruses use a conserved mechanism of STAT1 antagonism to inhibit interferon signaling. Cell host & microbe. 2022 Mar 09;30(3):357-372.e11

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    PMID: 35182467

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