Caister Academic Press

PB1-F2: A Multi-functional Non-structural Influenza A Virus Protein

Eike R. Hrincius and Jonathan A. McCullers
from: Influenza: Current Research (Edited by: Qinghua Wang and Yizhi Jane Tao). Caister Academic Press, U.K. (2016) Pages: 121-138.


A central determinant of pathogenicity for influenza A virus (IAV) infections is the interplay of the invading virus with the host immune system. The host has to recognize and fight the invading pathogen; at the same time the induced immune reaction has to be well balanced and not self-destroying. Influenza viruses have evolved strategies to support their replication and to circumvent host immune responses. The PB1-F2 protein of IAVs, a nonstructural protein only found within the infected cell, has had manifold functions attributed to it. The protein's proposed support of virus replication, together with modulation of immune responses, categorize PB1-F2 as a classic multi-functional viral protein. Shortly after its discovery it became obvious that PB1-F2 has the potential to mediate pathogenicity upon primary viral infection and also during bacterial co-infections. This effect appears to be mediated by induction of cell death, promotion of cytokine release and inflammation, and/or modulation of interferon responses in a virus, cell type, and host-specific manner. Because these functions of PB1-F2 are poorly understood and this protein has not been as well studied as other influenza virus proteins, research efforts need to be intensified to clarify the role of PB1-F2 in influenza virus infections read more ...
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