Glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase (G6PD)-deficient cells are highly susceptible to viral infection. This study examined the mechanism underlying this phenomenon by measuring the expression of antiviral genes-tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and GTPase myxovirus resistance 1 (MX1)-in G6PD-knockdown cells upon human coronavirus 229E (HCoV-229E) and enterovirus 71 (EV71) infection. Molecular analysis revealed that the promoter activities of TNF-α and MX1 were downregulated in G6PD-knockdown cells, and that the IκB degradation and DNA binding activity of NF-κB were decreased. The HSCARG protein, a nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) sensor and negative regulator of NF-κB, was upregulated in G6PD-knockdown cells with decreased NADPH/NADP⁺ ratio. Treatment of G6PD-knockdown cells with siRNA against HSCARG enhanced the DNA binding activity of NF-κB and the expression of TNF-α and MX1, but suppressed the expression of viral genes; however, the overexpression of HSCARG inhibited the antiviral response. Exogenous G6PD or IDH1 expression inhibited the expression of HSCARG, resulting in increased expression of TNF-α and MX1 and reduced viral gene expression upon virus infection. Our findings suggest that the increased susceptibility of the G6PD-knockdown cells to viral infection was due to impaired NF-κB signaling and antiviral response mediated by HSCARG.
Keywords: G6PD; HSCARG; NADPH; antiviral response; coronavirus; enterovirus.