Senataxin suppresses the antiviral transcriptional response and controls viral biogenesis
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The human helicase senataxin (SETX) has been linked to the neurodegenerative diseases amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS4) and ataxia with oculomotor apraxia (AOA2). Here we identified a role for SETX in controlling the antiviral response. Cells that had undergone depletion of SETX and SETX-deficient cells derived from patients with AOA2 had higher expression of antiviral mediators in response to infection than did wild-type cells. Mechanistically, we propose a model whereby SETX attenuates the activity of RNA polymerase II (RNAPII) at genes stimulated after a virus is sensed and thus controls the magnitude of the host response to pathogens and the biogenesis of various RNA viruses (e.g., influenza A virus and West Nile virus). Our data indicate a potentially causal link among inborn errors in SETX, susceptibility to infection and the development of neurologic disorders.
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