Long noncoding RNA#45 exerts broad inhibitory effect on influenza a virus replication via its stem ring arms

A growing body of evidence suggests the pivotal role of long non-coding RNA (lncRNA) in influenza virus infection. Based on next-generation sequencing, we previously demonstrated that Lnc45 was distinctively stimulated by H5N1 influenza virus in mice. In this study, we systematically investigated the specific role of Lnc45 during influenza A virus (IAV) infection. Through qRT-PCR, we first demonstrated that Lnc45 is highly up-regulated by different subtypes of IAV strains, including H5N1, H7N9, and H1N1 viruses. Using RNA-FISH and qRT-PCR, we then found that Lnc45 can translocate from nuclear to cytoplasm during H5N1 virus infection. In addition, forced Lnc45 expression dramatically impeded viral replication of H1N1, H5N1, and H7N9 virus, while abolish of Lnc45 expression by RNA interference favored replication of these viruses, highlighting the potential broad antiviral activity of Lnc45 to IAV. Correspondingly, overexpression of Lnc45 inhibited viral polymerase activity and suppressed IAV-induced cell apoptosis. Moreover, Lnc45 significantly restrained nuclear aggregation of viral NP and PA proteins during H5N1 virus infection. Further functional study revealed that the stem ring arms of Lnc45 mainly mediated the antiviral effect. Therefore, we here demonstrated that Lnc45 functions as a broad-spectrum antiviral factor to inhibit influenza virus replication probably through inhibiting polymerase activity and NP and PA nuclear accumulation via its stem ring arms. Our study not only advances our understanding of the complexity of the IAV pathogenesis but also lays the foundation for developing novel anti-IAV therapeutics targeting the host lncRNA.