Current knowledge on PB1-F2 of influenza A viruses
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- Krumbholz, A., Philipps, A., Oehring, H. et al. Med Microbiol Immunol (2011) 200: 69. doi:10.1007/s00430-010-0176-8
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Almost 10 years ago, an eleventh protein of influenza A viruses was discovered in a search for CD8+ T-cell epitopes. This protein was named PB1-F2 since it is encoded in the +1 reading frame of the PB1 gene segment. Various studies have shown that PB1-F2 has a pleiotropic effect: (1) The protein can induce apoptosis in a cell type-dependent manner, (2) PB1-F2 is able to promote inflammation, and (3) finally it up-regulates viral polymerase activity by its interaction with the PB1 subunit. These properties could contribute to an enhanced pathogenicity. However, the underlying mechanism is not fully understood yet. New data suggest that some effects of PB1-F2 are strain-specific and host-specific.