Mx genes: host determinants controlling influenza virus infection and trans-species transmission

Hum Genet. 2020 Jun;139(6-7):695-705. doi: 10.1007/s00439-019-02092-8. Epub 2019 Nov 26.


The human MxA protein, encoded by the interferon-inducible MX1 gene, is an intracellular influenza A virus (IAV) restriction factor. It can protect transgenic mice from severe IAV-induced disease, indicating a key role of human MxA for host survival and suggesting that natural variations in MX1 may account for inter-individual differences in disease severity among humans. MxA also provides a robust barrier against zoonotic transmissions of avian and swine IAV strains. Therefore, zoonotic IAV must acquire MxA escape mutations to achieve sustained human-to-human transmission. Here, we discuss recent progress in the field.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Influenza A virus / genetics
  • Influenza A virus / immunology*
  • Influenza, Human / genetics
  • Influenza, Human / immunology
  • Influenza, Human / virology*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Mutation*
  • Myxovirus Resistance Proteins / genetics*
  • Orthomyxoviridae Infections / immunology
  • Orthomyxoviridae Infections / transmission*
  • Orthomyxoviridae Infections / virology


  • MX1 protein, human
  • Myxovirus Resistance Proteins