Abstract – Enterovirus 71 (EV71) can cause hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD) in young children. Severe infection with EV71 can lead to neurological complications and even death. However, the molecular basis of viral pathogenesis remains poorly understood. Here, we report that EV71 induces degradation of gasdermin D (GSDMD), an essential component of pyroptosis. Remarkably, the viral protease 3C directly targets GSDMD and induces its cleavage, which is dependent on the protease activity. Further analyses show that the Q193-G194 pair within GSDMD is the cleavage site of 3C. This cleavage produces a shorter N-terminal fragment spanning amino acids 1 to 193 (GSDMD1–193). However, unlike the N-terminal fragment produced by caspase-1 cleavage, this fragment fails to trigger cell death or inhibit EV71 replication. Importantly, a T239D or F240D substitution abrogates the activity of GSDMD consisting of amino acids 1 to 275 (GSDMD1–275). This is correlated with the lack of pyroptosis or inhibition of viral replication. These results reveal a previously unrecognized strategy for EV71 to evade the antiviral response.
Article Source: Journal of Virology?