Identification of a new autoinhibitory domain of interferon-beta promoter stimulator-1 (IPS-1) for the tight regulation of oligomerization-driven signal activation.
Upon viral infection, retinoic acid-inducible gene-I (RIG-I)-like receptors detect viral foreign RNAs and transmit anti-viral signals via direct interaction with the downstream mitochondrial adaptor molecule, interferon (IFN)-β promoter stimulator-1 (IPS-1), to inhibit viral replication. Although IPS-1 is known to form prion-like oligomers on mitochondria to activate signaling, the mechanisms that regulate oligomer formation remain unclear. Here, we identified an autoinhibitory domain (AD) at amino acids 180-349 to suppress oligomerization of IPS-1 in a resting state and regulate activation of downstream signaling. Size exclusion chromatography (SEC) analysis demonstrated that AD was required to suppress auto-oligomerization of the caspase recruitment domain (CARD) of IPS-1 via intramolecular interactions. This was supported by the observation that cleavage of a peptide bond between IPS-1 CARD and AD by Tobacco Etch virus (TEV) protease relieved autoinhibition. Conversely, deletion of this domain from IPS-1 enhanced signal activation in IFN-reporter assays, suggesting that IPS-1 AD played a critical role in the regulation of IPS-1-mediated anti-viral signal activation. These findings revealed novel molecular interactions involved in the tight regulation of innate anti-viral immunity.