SAMHD1 is a type I interferon (IFN) inducible host innate immunity restriction factor that inhibits an early step of the viral life cycle. The underlying mechanisms of SAMHD1 transcriptional regulation remains elusive. Here, we report that inducing SAMHD1 upregulation is part of an early intrinsic immune response via TLR3 and RIG-I/MDA5 agonists that ultimately induce the nuclear translocation of the interferon regulation factor 3 (IRF3) protein. Further studies show that IRF3 plays a major role in upregulating endogenous SAMHD1 expression in a mechanism that is independent of the classical IFN-induced JAK-STAT pathway. Both overexpression and activation of IRF3 enhanced the SAMHD1 promoter luciferase activity, and activated IRF3 was necessary for upregulating SAMHD1 expression in a type I IFN cascade. We also show that the SAMHD1 promoter is a direct target of IRF3 and an IRF3 binding site is sufficient to render this promoter responsive to stimulation. Collectively, these findings indicate that upregulation of endogenous SAMHD1 expression is attributed to the phosphorylation and nuclear translocation of IRF3 and we suggest that type I IFN induction and induced SAMHD1 expression are coordinated.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by grants from the National Basic Research Program of China (973 Plan, grant no. 2014CB542700), National Key Technology Support Program (grant no. 2015BAD12B01-1), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant nos 31502072, 31100121, 31302098 and 31300140).