Duck stimulator of interferon genes plays an important role in host anti-duck plague virus infection through an IFN-dependent signalling pathway

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Graphical abstractDuSTING plays an important role in IFNβ and ISGs producing.HighlightsOverexpression of duSTING can stimulate the production of cytokines.DuSTING plays an important role in type I IFN signaling pathway.DuSTING inhibits the replication of duck plague virus was initially explored.The human stimulator of interferon gene (STING) is an important molecule in innate immunity that stimulates type I interferon (IFN) production. However, the role of duck STING (duSTING) in innate immunity has yet to be explained. In this study, the full length of the duSTING cDNA sequence (1149 bp), which encodes 382 amino acid (aa) residues, was reported and showed the highest sequence similarity with chicken STINGs. The phylogenetic analysis based on STING aa showed that duSTING was grouped onto the birds clade. According to the tissue distribution spectrum analysis, duSTING was highly present in the bursa of Fabricius, glandular stomach, liver, pancreas, and small intestine of ducklings, as well as in the blood and pancreas of the adult duck. DuSTING mainly colocalized with the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and mitochondria in transfected Baby Hamster Syrian Kidney (BHK21) and duck embryo fibroblasts (DEF) cells by an indirect immunofluorescence assay. The transfection of the DEFs with duSTING activated NF-κB, which induced the transcription of IFN-β, and the activated IFN induced the interferon-stimulated response element (ISRE). Furthermore, the overexpression of duSTING significantly upregulated the mRNA level of duck IFN-β and IFN-stimulated genes (ISGs), such as duMx and duOASL and inhibited the replication of the double-stranded DNA duck plague virus (DPV) in vitro. In addition, the knockdown of endogenous duSTING by shRNA significantly reduced the poly (I:C) (pIC), poly (dA:dT), and Tembusu virus (TMUV), induced IFN-β production and significantly promoted DPV replication in vitro. In general, these data demonstrate that duSTING is vital for duck type I interferon induction and plays an important role in the host defence of DPV infection.

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