Cellular receptor-mediated signaling pathways play critical roles during the initial immune response to Human Cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection. However, the involvement of type-I transmembrane glycoprotein CD147/EMMPRIN (extracellular matrix metalloproteinase inducer) in the antiviral response to HCMV infection is still unknown. Here, we demonstrated the specific knockdown of CD147 significantly decreased HCMV-induced activation of NF-κB and Interferon-beta (IFN-β), which contribute to the cellular antiviral responses. Next, we confirmed that HCMV-encoded miR-US25-1-5p could target the 3′ UTR (Untranslated Region) of CD147 mRNA, and thus facilitate HCMV lytic propagation at a low multiplicity of infection (MOI). The expression and secretion of Cyclophilin A (sCyPA), as a ligand for CD147 and a proinflammatory cytokine, were up-regulated in response to HCMV stimuli. Finally, we confirmed that CD147 mediated HCMV-triggered antiviral signaling via the sCyPA-CD147-ERK (extracellular regulated protein kinases)/NF-κB axis signaling pathway. These findings reveal an important HCMV mechanism for evading antiviral innate immunity through its encoded microRNA by targeting transmembrane glycoprotein CD147, and a potential cause of HCMV inflammatory disorders due to the secretion of proinflammatory cytokine CyPA.
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