Recognition of double-stranded RNA activates interferon-regulatory factor 3 (IRF3)-dependent expression of antiviral factors. Although the molecular mechanisms underlying the activation of IRF3 have been studied, the mechanisms by which IRF3 activity is reduced have not. Here we report that activation of IRF3 is negatively regulated by the peptidyl-prolyl isomerase Pin1. After stimulation by double-stranded RNA, induced phosphorylation of the Ser339-Pro340 motif of IRF3 led to its interaction with Pin1 and finally polyubiquitination and then proteasome-dependent degradation of IRF3. Suppression of Pin1 by RNA interference or genetic deletion resulted in enhanced IRF-3-dependent production of interferon-beta, with consequent reduction of virus replication. These results elucidate a previously unknown mechanism for controlling innate antiviral responses by negatively regulating IRF3 activity via Pin1.
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