Endogenous IFITMs boost SARS-coronavirus 1 and 2 replication whereas overexpression inhibits infection by relocalizing ACE2

Qinya Xie, Caterina Prelli Bozzo, Laura Eiben, Sabrina Noettger, Dorota Kmiec, Rayhane Nchioua, Daniela Niemeyer, Meta Volcic, Jung Hyun Lee, Fabian Zech, Konstantin M.J. Sparrer, Christian Drosten, Frank Kirchhoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

Opposing effects of interferon-induced transmembrane proteins (IFITMs 1, 2 and 3) on SARS-CoV-2 infection have been reported. The reasons for this are unclear and the role of IFITMs in infection of other human coronaviruses (hCoVs) remains poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that endogenous expression of IFITM2 and/or IFITM3 is critical for efficient replication of SARS-CoV-1, SARS-CoV-2 and hCoV-OC43 but has little effect on MERS-, NL63-and 229E-hCoVs. In contrast, overexpression of IFITMs inhibits all these hCoVs, and the corresponding spike-containing pseudo-particles, except OC43, which is enhanced by IFITM3. We further demonstrate that overexpression of IFITMs impairs cell surface expression of ACE2 representing the entry receptor of SARS-CoVs and hCoV-NL63 but not hCoV-OC43. Our results explain the inhibitory effects of artificial IFITM overexpression on ACE2-tropic SARS-CoVs and show that three hCoVs, including major causative agents of severe respiratory disease, hijack IFITMs for efficient infection of human cells.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106395
JournaliScience
Volume26
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 21 Apr 2023

Keywords

  • Immunity
  • Protein
  • Virology

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