Type I interferon controls propagation of Long Interspersed Element-1 [Signal Transduction]

February 25th, 2015 by Yu, Q., Carbone, C. J., Katlinskaya, Y. V., Zheng, H., Zheng, K., Luo, M., Wang, P. J., Greenberg, R. A., Fuchs, S. Y.

Type I interferons (IFN) including IFNα and IFNβ are critical for the cellular defense against viruses. Here we report that increased levels of IFNβ were found in testes from mice deficient in Mov10L1, a germ cell-specific RNA helicase that plays a key role in limiting the propagation of retrotransposons including Long Interspersed Element-1 (LINE-1). Additional experiments revealed that activation of LINE-1 retrotransposons increases the expression of IFNβ and of IFN-stimulated genes. Conversely, pre-treatment of cells with IFN suppressed the replication of LINE-1. Furthermore, the efficacy of LINE-1 replication was increased in isogenic cell lines harboring inactivating mutations in diverse elements of the IFN signaling pathway. Knock down of the IFN receptor chain IFNAR1 also stimulated LINE-1 propagation in vitro. Finally, a greater accumulation of LINE-1 was found in mice that lack IFNAR1 compared to wild type mice. We propose that LINE-1-induced IFN plays an important role in restricting LINE-1 propagation and discuss the putative role of IFN in preserving the genome stability.