Viral infections induce signaling pathways in mammalian cells that stimulate innate immune responses and affect cellular processes, such as apoptosis, mitosis, and differentiation. Here, we report that the ribosomal protein S6 kinase alpha 3 (RSK2), which is activated through the "classical" mitogen-activated protein kinase pathway, plays a role in innate immune responses to influenza virus infection. RSK2 functions in the regulation of cell growth and differentiation but was not known to play a role in the cellular antiviral response. We have found that knockdown of RSK2 enhanced viral polymerase activity and growth of influenza viruses. Influenza virus infection stimulates NK-κB- and beta interferon-dependent promoters. This stimulation was reduced in RSK2 knockdown cells, suggesting that RSK2 executes its effect through innate immune response pathways. Furthermore, RSK2 knockdown suppressed influenza virus-induced phosphorylation of the double-stranded RNA-activated protein kinase PKR, a known antiviral protein. These findings establish a role for RSK2 in the cellular antiviral response.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Insect Science