Dysregulation of Ras signaling is the major cause of various cancers. Aberrant Ras signaling, however, provides a favorable environment for many viruses, making them suitable candidates as cancer-killing therapeutic agents. Susceptibility of cancer cells to such viruses is mainly due to impaired type I interferon (IFN) response, often as a result of activated Ras/ERK signaling in these cells. In this study, we searched for cellular factors modulated by Ras signaling and their potential involvement in promoting viral oncolysis. We found that upon Ras transformation of NIH-3T3 cells, the N-terminus of Nogo-B (reticulon 4) was proteolytically cleaved. Interestingly, Nogo knockdown (KD) in non-transformed and Ras-transformed cells both enhanced virus-induced IFN response, suggesting that both cleaved and uncleaved Nogo can suppress IFN response. However, pharmacological blockade of Nogo cleavage in Ras-transformed cells significantly enhanced virus-induced IFN response, suggesting that cleaved Nogo contributes to enhanced IFN suppression in these cells. We further showed that IFN suppression associated with Ras-induced Nogo-B cleavage was distinct from but synergistic with that associated with an activated Ras/ERK pathway. Our study therefore reveals an important and novel role of Nogo-B and its cleavage in the suppression of anti-viral immune responses by oncogenic Ras transformation.
Keywords: Nogo; cleavage; interferon; reticulon 4B; transformed cells.