Alteration of copper-zinc superoxide dismutase 1 expression by influenza A virus is correlated with virus replication

Chul Woong Pyo, Nary Shin, Kwang Il Jung, Joon Hwan Choi, Sang Yun Choi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Viruses have evolved mechanisms designated to potentiate virus replication by modulating the physiological condition of host cells. The generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) during infection with influenza virus A (IAV) is a well-established mechanism in animals, but little is known about the generation of ROS in in vitro cell culture models and about its role in virus replication. We show here that IAV H1N1 infected human alveolar cells increased superoxide anion level mainly by suppressing the copper-zinc superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) gene, and that the SOD1-controlled generation of ROS was tightly correlated with virus replication. The transcription factor Sp1, which is a major element of the proximal region of the sod1 promoter, was slightly downregulated at the transcriptional level during IAV infection, and subsequently modulated by post-translational control. A gradual reduction of whole Sp1 was largely responsible for the repression of sod1 transcription with increasing time post-infection, and their rescue by the proteasome inhibitor, MG132, proved the involvement of proteasomal degradation in Sp1 regulation during IAV infection. Furthermore, we observed that expression of viral polymerase PB1 was inversely proportional to SOD1 level. The antioxidant N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) neutralized IAV-mediated oxidative stress, and either NAC treatment or sod1 transfection considerably diminished viral polymerase activity. These data indicate that IAV-induced SOD1 repression, which may cause impaired redox balance in host cells, can be attributed, at least in part, to enhance viral replication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)711-716
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and biophysical research communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014 Jul 18

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by Grant from the Korea Healthcare Technology R&D Project of the Ministry of Health and Welfare (Grant A103001 ) and by the Korea University Grant.


  • Influenza
  • ROS
  • SOD1
  • Sp1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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