Viperin triggers ribosome collision-dependent translation inhibition to restrict viral replication

Mol Cell. 2022 May 5;82(9):1631-1642.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2022.02.031. Epub 2022 Mar 21.


Innate immune responses induce hundreds of interferon-stimulated genes (ISGs). Viperin, a member of the radical S-adenosyl methionine (SAM) superfamily of enzymes, is the product of one such ISG that restricts the replication of a broad spectrum of viruses. Here, we report a previously unknown antiviral mechanism in which viperin activates a ribosome collision-dependent pathway that inhibits both cellular and viral RNA translation. We found that the radical SAM activity of viperin is required for translation inhibition and that this is mediated by viperin's enzymatic product, 3'-deoxy-3',4'-didehydro-CTP (ddhCTP). Viperin triggers ribosome collisions and activates the MAPKKK ZAK pathway that in turn activates the GCN2 arm of the integrated stress response pathway to inhibit translation. The study illustrates the importance of translational repression in the antiviral response and identifies viperin as a translation regulator in innate immunity.

Keywords: Kunjin virus; Zika virus; antiviral response; innate immunity; integrated stress response pathway; interferon-stimulated gene; ribosome collision; translational regulation; viperin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Antiviral Agents / pharmacology
  • Immunity, Innate
  • Oxidoreductases Acting on CH-CH Group Donors* / genetics
  • Proteins* / metabolism
  • Ribosomes / genetics
  • Ribosomes / metabolism
  • S-Adenosylmethionine
  • Virus Replication


  • Antiviral Agents
  • Proteins
  • S-Adenosylmethionine
  • Oxidoreductases Acting on CH-CH Group Donors