Viral degradasome hijacks mitochondria to suppress innate immunity

Ramansu Goswami, Tanmay Majumdar, Jayeeta Dhar, Saurabh Chattopadhyay, Sudip K. Bandyopadhyay, Valentina Verbovetskaya, Ganes C. Sen, Sailen Barik

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

77 Scopus citations


The balance between the innate immunity of the host and the ability of a pathogen to evade it strongly influences pathogenesis and virulence. The two nonstructural (NS) proteins, NS1 and NS2, of respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) are critically required for RSV virulence. Together, they strongly suppress the type I interferon (IFN)-mediated innate immunity of the host cells by degrading or inhibiting multiple cellular factors required for either IFN induction or response pathways, including RIG-I, IRF3, IRF7, TBK1 and STAT2. Here, we provide evidence for the existence of a large and heterogeneous degradative complex assembled by the NS proteins, which we named "NS-degradasome" (NSD). The NSD is roughly ∼300-750 kD in size, and its degradative activity was enhanced by the addition of purified mitochondria in vitro. Inside the cell, the majority of the NS proteins and the substrates of the NSD translocated to the mitochondria upon RSV infection. Genetic and pharmacological evidence shows that optimal suppression of innate immunity requires mitochondrial MAVS and mitochondrial motility. Together, we propose a novel paradigm in which the mitochondria, known to be important for the innate immune activation of the host, are also important for viral suppression of the innate immunity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1025-1042
Number of pages18
JournalCell Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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