Editors' ChoiceVirology

Hostile Takeover

Science Signaling  31 May 2011:
Vol. 4, Issue 175, pp. ec156
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.4175ec156

One of the hallmarks of the host’s response to viral infection is the production of interferon cytokines, which trigger the induction of a broad array of antiviral genes. Viperin is an interferon-inducible gene whose expression is induced in response to infection with human cytomegalovirus (HCMV). Seo et al. now show that HCMV co-opts viperin to its advantage. vMIA, a virus-encoded protein, interacted with viperin and induced viperin relocalization from the endoplasmic reticulum to the mitochondria in response to infection. Mitochondria-localized viperin inhibited ATP generation in the mitochondria, which resulted in disruption of the actin cytoskeleton and enhanced viral replication.

J.-Y. Seo, R. Yaneva, E. R. Hinson, P. Cresswell, Human cytomegalovirus directly induces the antiviral protein viperin to enhance infectivity. Science 332, 1093–1097 (2011). [Abstract] [Full Text]