Surface expression of the hRSV nucleoprotein impairs immunological synapse formation with T cells
Céspedes PF., Bueno SM., Ramírez BA., Gomez RS., Riquelme SA., Palavecino CE., Mackern-Oberti JP., Mora JE., Depoil D., Sacristán C., Cammer M., Creneguy A., Nguyen TH., Riedel CA., Dustin ML., Kalergis AM.
Significance Human respiratory syncytial virus (hRSV) is the leading cause of bronchiolitis and pneumonia in children worldwide. The induction of poor T-cell immunological memory causes a high susceptibility to reinfections, which contributes to hRSV spread. Previously, we showed that hRSV inhibits T-cell activation by impairing the assembly of the dendritic cell (DC)−T-cell immunological synapse (IS). Here, we show that the nucleoprotein (N) of hRSV—a canonical cytosolic protein—is expressed on the surface of infected DCs. Further, using the supported-lipid-bilayer system (that mimics the DC/ antigen-presenting cells-membrane composition), we observed that the hRSV N interfered with pMHC−T-cell receptor interactions and inhibited IS assembly. We conclude that hRSV N may therefore be instrumental in impairing the host immune response during infection with this virus.