Enterovirus A71 (EV-A71) has emerged as a major pathogen causing hand, foot, and mouth disease, as well as neurological disorders. The host immune response affects the outcomes of EV-A71 infection, leading to either resolution or disease progression. However, the mechanisms of how the mammalian innate immune system detects EV-A71 infection to elicit antiviral immunity remain elusive. Here, we report that the Toll-like receptor 3 (TLR3) is a key viral RNA sensor for sensing EV-A71 infection to trigger antiviral immunity. Expression of TLR3 in HEK293 cells enabled the cells to sense EV-A71 infection, leading to type I, IFN-mediated antiviral immunity. Viral double-stranded RNA derived from EV-A71 infection was a key ligand for TLR3 detection. Silencing of TLR3 in mouse and human primary immune cells impaired the activation of IFN-β upon EV-A71 infection, thus reinforcing the importance of the TLR3 pathway in defending against EV-A71 infection. Our results further demonstrated that TLR3 was a target of EV-A71 infection. EV-A71 protease 2A was implicated in the downregulation of TLR3. Together, our results not only demonstrate the importance of the TLR3 pathway in response to EV-A71 infection, but also reveal the involvement of EV-A71 protease 2A in subverting TLR3-mediated antiviral defenses.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Infectious Diseases