The RNA helicase DDX5 promotes viral infection via regulating N6-methyladenosine levels on the DHX58 and NFkappaB transcripts to dampen antiviral innate immunity

Multi-functional DEAD-box helicase 5 (DDX5), which is important in transcriptional regulation, is hijacked by diverse viruses to facilitate viral replication. However, its regulatory effect in antiviral innate immunity remains unclear. We found that DDX5 interacts with the N6-methyladenosine (m6A) writer METTL3 to regulate methylation of mRNA through affecting the m6A writer METTL3-METTL14 heterodimer complex. Meanwhile, DDX5 promoted the m6A modification and nuclear export of transcripts DHX58, p65, and IKKgamma by binding conserved UGCUGCAG element in innate response after viral infection. Stable IKKgamma and p65 transcripts underwent YTHDF2-dependent mRNA decay, whereas DHX58 translation was promoted, resulting in inhibited antiviral innate response by DDX5 via blocking the p65 pathway and activating the DHX58-TBK1 pathway after infection with RNA virus. Furthermore, we found that DDX5 suppresses antiviral innate immunity in vivo. Our findings reveal that DDX5 serves as a negative regulator of innate immunity by promoting RNA methylation of antiviral transcripts and consequently facilitating viral propagation.

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