Increased susceptibility to DNA virus infection in mice with a GCN2 mutation

Sungyong Won, Celine Eidenschenk, Carrie N. Arnold, Owen M. Siggs, Lei Sun, Katharina Brandl, Tina Marie Mullen, Glen R. Nemerow, Eva Marie Y. Moresco, Bruce Beutler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)


The downre gulation of translation through eIF2α phosphorylation is a cellular response to diverse stresses, including viral infection, and is mediated by the GCN2 kinase, protein kinase R (PKR), protein kinase-like endoplasmic reticulum kinase (PERK), and heme-regulated inhibitor kinase (HRI). Although PKR plays a major role in defense against viruses, other eIF2α kinases also may respond to viral infection and contribute to the shutdown of protein synthesis. Here we describe the recessive, loss-offunction mutation atchoum (atc) in Eif2ak4, encoding GCN2, which increased susceptibility to infection by the double-stranded DNA viruses mouse cytomegalovirus (MCMV) and human adenovirus. This mutation was identified by screening macrophages isolated from mice carrying N-ethyl-N-nitrosourea (ENU)-induced mutations. Cells from Eif2ak4atc/atc mice failed to phosphorylate eIF2α in response to MCMV. Importantly, homozygous Eif2ak4atc mice showed a modest increase in susceptibility to MCMV infection, demonstrating that translational arrest dependent on GCN2 contributes to the antiviral response in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1802-1808
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes


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