Recently, the research group of Prof. Ziqiang Cheng from College of Animal Science and Technology (College of Veterinary Medicine) of SDAU published a research paper online in the Journal of Virology, an internationally top level academic journal, revealing that the chicken host-restriction factor CCCH-type zinc finger antiviral protein (ZAP) can activate the T-cell signaling pathway, thereby relieve leukosis virus-induced immunosuppression.
Avian immunosuppressive viruses seriously damage the immune system, inhibit the immune response of the body, result in frequent secondary infections and mixed infections, increase the difficulty of disease diagnosis and prevention and control, and have become a high risk the health of poultry in China. Therefore, the exploration and development of host restriction factor medicines against immunosuppressive viruses is of great significance for improving the quality and efficiency of poultry breeding and food safety of poultry products.
ZAP, a newly discovered host restriction factor, can exert antiviral effects by capturing the ribonucleic acid (RNA) of the target virus and mediating its degradation. In the study, the research group of Prof. Ziqiang Cheng discovered a new antiviral immunosuppressive function of ZAP.
ZAP promotes the release of Norbin-like protein (NLP) from the immune cells of the poultry organism by competitively binding to the viral surface protein SU, thereby reducing total and phosphorylated protein levels of protein kinase C δ (PKC-δ) and promoting PKC-δ membrane translocation, while the dephosphorylated state of PKC-δ induces activation of nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) phosphorylation levels and further leads to NFAT nuclear translocation and thus activation of T cells.This mechanism revealed in their study provides a theoretical reference for the study of targeted intervention of natural defense factors of immunosuppressive viruses.
Prof. Ziqiang Cheng is the corresponding author of this paper. Dr. Mingjun Zhu and Dr. Jing Zhou are the co-first authors of this paper. Associate Prof. Defang Zhou and the master student Kunmei Yang participated in the research work. The research was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China and the Key Science and Technology Innovation Project of Shandong Province.
Link to the paper:https://journals.asm.org/doi/10.1128/JVI.01344-21