Eukaryotic translational initiation factor 4AII reduces the replication of infectious bursal disease virus by inhibiting VP1 polymerase activity

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Infectious bursal disease (IBD) is an acute, highly contagious, and immunosuppressive avian disease caused by IBD virus (IBDV). Although an interaction between eukaryotic translational initiation factor 4AII (eIF4AII) of the host and viral protein 1 (VP1), the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) of IBDV, has been established, the underlying effects of this interaction on IBDV and the molecular mechanism remain unclear. We here report that interaction of the host eIF4AII with VP1 inhibits the RNA polymerase activity of IBDV to reduce its replication in host cells. We found that ectopically expressed eIF4AII markedly inhibited IBDV growth in DF1 cells, and knockdown of eIF4AII by small interfering RNA significantly enhanced viral replication in CEF cells. Furthermore, IBDV infection led to an increase in host eIF4AII expression, suggesting a feedback mechanism between the host and virus infection both in vitro and in vivo, which further confirmed the involvement of the host eIF4AII in the IBDV life cycle. Thus, via the interaction with VP1, eIF4AII plays a critical role in the IBDV life cycle, by inhibiting viral RNA polymerase activity, leading to a reduction of IBDV replication in cells.

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