<i>IFNAR2</i>-dependent gene expression profile induced by IFN-α in <i>Pteropus alecto</i> bat cells and impact of <i>IFNAR2</i> knockout on virus infection
by Qian Zhang, Lei-Ping Zeng, Peng Zhou, Aaron T. Irving, Shang Li, Zheng-Li Shi, Lin-Fa WangBats are important reservoirs of many viruses, which are capable of infecting the host without inducing obvious clinical diseases. Interferon and the downstream interferon regulated genes (IRGs) are known to act as the first line of defense against viral infections. Little is known about the transcriptional profile of genes being induced by interferon in bats and their role in controlling virus infection. In this study, we constructed IFNAR2 knockout bat cell lines using CRISPR technology and further characterized gene expression profiles induced by the most abundant IFN-α (IFN-α3). Firstly, we demonstrated that the CRISPR/Cas9 system is applicable for bat cells as this represents the first CRIPSR knockout cell line for bats. Our results showed the pleiotropic effect of IFN-α3 on the bat kidney cell line, PaKiT03. As expected, we confirmed that IFNAR2 is indispensable for IFN-a signaling pathway and plays an important role in antiviral immunity. Unexpectedly, we also identified novel IFNAR2-dependent IRGs which are enriched in pathways related to cancer. To our knowledge, this seems to be bat-specific as no such observation has been reported for other mammalian species. This study expands our knowledge about bat immunology and the cell line established can provide a powerful tool for future study into virus-bat interaction and cancer biology.
Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article
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