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Virus-induced accumulation of intracellular bile acids activates the TGR5-β-arrestin-SRC axis to enable innate antiviral immunity


The mechanisms on metabolic regulation of immune responses are still elusive. We show here that viral infection induces immediate-early NF-κB activation independent of viral nucleic acid-triggered signaling, which triggers a rapid transcriptional induction of bile acid (BA) transporter and rate-limiting biosynthesis enzymes as well as accumulation of intracellular BAs in divergent cell types. The accumulated intracellular BAs activate SRC kinase via the TGR5-GRK-β-arrestin axis, which mediates tyrosine phosphorylation of multiple antiviral signaling components including RIG-I, VISA/MAVS, MITA/STING, TBK1 and IRF3. The tyrosine phosphorylation of these components by SRC conditions for efficient innate antiviral immune response. Consistently, TGR5 deficiency impairs innate antiviral immunity, whereas BAs exhibit potent antiviral activity in wild-type but not TGR5-deficient cells and mice. Our findings reveal an intrinsic and universal role of intracellular BA metabolism in innate antiviral immunity.

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We thank Dr. Rui Xiao for his assistant on CHIP assays analysis. This work was supported by grants from the State Key R&D Program of China (2017YFA0505800, 2016YFA0502102), and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31830024, 31771555, 31630045, 31521091, 31671465, and 31800728), National Postdoctoral Program for Innovative Talents (BX201600116) and China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2017M620334).

Author information

H.B.S. and M.M.H. conceived and designed the study; M.M.H., W.R.H., P.G., Q.Y., K.H., and L.B.C. performed the experiments; H.B.S., M.M.H., Q.Y., S.L. and Y.Q.F. analyzed the data. M.M.H. and H.B.S. wrote the manuscript.

Correspondence to Ming-Ming Hu or Hong-Bing Shu.

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