Human rhinovirus-induced ISG15 selectively modulates epithelial antiviral immunity

Mucosal Immunol. 2014 Sep;7(5):1127-38. doi: 10.1038/mi.2013.128. Epub 2014 Jan 22.


Human rhinovirus (HRV) infections trigger exacerbations of lower airway diseases. HRV infects human airway epithelial cells and induces proinflammatory and antiviral molecules that regulate the response to HRV infection. Interferon (IFN)-stimulated gene of 15 kDa (ISG15) has been shown to regulate other viruses. We now show that HRV-16 infection induces both intracellular epithelial ISG15 expression and ISG15 secretion in vitro. Moreover, ISG15 protein levels increased in nasal secretions of subjects with symptomatic HRV infections. HRV-16-induced ISG15 expression is transcriptionally regulated via an IFN regulatory factor pathway. ISG15 does not directly alter HRV replication but does modulate immune signaling via the viral sensor protein RIG-I to impact production of CXCL10, which has been linked to innate immunity to viruses. Extracellular ISG15 also alters CXCL10 production. We conclude that ISG15 has a complex role in host defense against HRV infection, and that additional studies are needed to clarify the role of this molecule.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cell Line
  • Cytokines / genetics
  • Cytokines / immunology*
  • Epithelial Cells / immunology*
  • Epithelial Cells / virology*
  • Female
  • Gene Expression Regulation / immunology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Picornaviridae Infections / immunology*
  • Respiratory System / immunology
  • Rhinovirus / immunology*
  • Time Factors
  • Ubiquitins / genetics
  • Ubiquitins / immunology*
  • Young Adult


  • Cytokines
  • Ubiquitins
  • ISG15 protein, human