Alternative Splicing of RIOK3 Engages the Noncanonical NFκB Pathway during Rift Valley Fever Virus Infection

Thomas Charles Bisom, Hope Smelser, Jean Marc Lanchy, J. Stephen Lodmell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Although the noncanonical NFκB pathway was originally identified as a cellular pathway contributing to lymphoid organogenesis, in the past 20 years, its involvement in innate immunity has become more appreciated. In particular, the noncanonical NFκB pathway has been found to be activated and even exploited by some RNA viruses during infection. Intriguingly, activation of this pathway has been shown to have a role in disrupting transcription of type 1 interferon (IFN), suggesting a rationale for why this response could be co-opted by some viruses. Rift Valley fever virus (RVFV) is a trisegmented ambisense RNA virus that poses a considerable threat to domestic livestock and human health. Previously, we showed the atypical kinase RIOK3 is important for mounting an IFN response to RVFV infection of human epithelial cells, and shortly following infection with RVFV (MP12 strain), RIOK3 mRNA is alternatively spliced to its X2 isoform that encodes a truncated RIOK3 protein. Alternative splicing of RIOK3 mRNA has an inhibitory effect on the IFN response but also stimulates an NFκB-mediated inflammatory response. Here, we demonstrate alternative splicing of RIOK3 mRNA is associated with activation of the noncanonical NFκB pathway and suggest this pathway is co-opted by RVFV (MP12) to enhance viral success during infection.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1566
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 18 2023


  • RIOK3
  • Rift Valley fever virus
  • alternative splicing
  • innate immunity
  • noncanonical NFκB pathway
  • Alternative Splicing
  • Humans
  • RNA, Messenger/metabolism
  • Animals
  • Interferon Type I/genetics
  • Rift Valley fever virus/genetics
  • Rift Valley Fever
  • NF-kappa B/genetics


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