Species-independent contribution of ZBP1/DAI/DLM-1-triggered necroptosis in host defense against HSV1

Hongyan Guo, Ryan P. Gilley, Amanda Fisher, Rebecca Lane, Vanessa J. Landsteiner, Katherine B. Ragan, Cole M. Dovey, Jan E. Carette, Jason W. Upton, Edward S. Mocarski, William J. Kaiser

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


Necroptosis complements apoptosis as a host defense pathway to stop virus infection. Herpes simplex virus shows a propensity to trigger necroptosis of mouse cells and mice even though cell death is blocked in human cells through UL39-encoded ICP6. This ribonucleotide reductase large subunit (R1) nucleates RHIM-dependent oligomerization of RIP3 kinase (RIPK3, also known as RIP3) in mouse cells but inhibits activation in cells from the natural human host. By interrogating the comparative behavior of ICP6-deficient viruses in mouse and human cells, here we unveil virus-induced necroptosis mediated by Z-DNA-binding protein 1 (ZBP1, also known as DAI). ZBP1 acts as a pathogen sensor to detect nascent RNA transcripts rather than input viral DNA or viral DNA generated through replication. Consistent with the implicated role of virus-induced necroptosis in restricting infection, viral pathogenesis is restored in Zbp1 −/− , Ripk3 −/− and Mlkl −/− mice. Thus, in addition to direct activation of RIPK3 via ICP6, HSV1 infection in mice and mouse cells triggers virus-induced necroptosis through ZBP1. Importantly, virus-induced necroptosis is also induced in human HT-29 cells by ICP6 mutant viruses; however, ZBP1 levels must be elevated for this pathway to be active. Thus, our studies reveal a common, species-independent role of this nucleic acid sensor to detect the presence of this virus. HSV1 ICP6 functions as a bona fide RHIM signaling inhibitor to block virus-induced necroptosis in its natural host. Altogether, ZBP1-dependent restriction of herpesvirus infection emerges as a potent antiviral armament of the innate immune system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number816
JournalCell Death and Disease
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Cell Biology
  • Cancer Research


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