Metabolic enzyme UAP1 mediates IRF3 pyrophosphorylation to facilitate innate immune response.Yang et al
Post-translational modifications (PTMs) of proteins are crucial to guarantee the proper biological functions in immune responses. Although protein phosphorylation has been extensively studied, our current knowledge of protein pyrophosphorylation, which occurs based on phosphorylation, is very limited. Protein pyrophosphorylation is originally considered to be a non-enzymatic process, and its function in immune signaling is unknown. Here we identify a metabolic enzyme, UDP-N-acetylglucosamine pyrophosphorylase 1 (UAP1) as a pyrophosphorylase for protein serine pyrophosphorylation, by catalyzing the pyrophosphorylation of interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3) at serine (Ser) 386 to promote robust type I interferon (IFN) responses. Uap1 deficiency significantly impairs the activation of both DNA and RNA viruses-induced type I IFN pathways, and the Uap1 deficient mice are highly susceptible to lethal viral infection. Our findings demonstrate protein pyrophosphorylation as a novel type of PTM in the regulation of antiviral responses, and provide insights into the crosstalk between metabolism and innate immunity.