STAT2 Limits Host Species Specificity of Human Metapneumovirus

Meredith C. Rogers, Margot Miranda-Katz, Yu Zhang, Tim D. Oury, Melissa B. Uccellini, Adolfo García-Sastre, John V. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The host tropism of viral infection is determined by a variety of factors, from cell surface receptors to innate immune signaling. Many viruses encode proteins that interfere with host innate immune recognition in order to promote infection. STAT2 is divergent between species and therefore has a role in species restriction of some viruses. To understand the role of STAT2 in human metapneumovirus (HMPV) infection of human and murine tissues, we first infected STAT2-/- mice and found that HMPV could be serially passaged in STAT2-/-, but not WT, mice. We then used in vitro methods to show that HMPV inhibits expression of both STAT1 and STAT2 in human and primate cells, but not in mouse cells. Transfection of the murine form of STAT2 into STAT2-deficient human cells conferred resistance to STAT2 inhibition. Finally, we sought to understand the in vivo role of STAT2 by infecting hSTAT2 knock-in mice with HMPV, and found that mice had increased weight loss, inhibition of type I interferon signaling, and a Th2-polarized cytokine profile compared to WT mice. These results indicate that STAT2 is a target of HMPV in human infection, while the murine version of STAT2 restricts tropism of HMPV for murine cells and tissue.

Original languageEnglish
Article number724
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2020


  • STAT1
  • STAT2
  • acute respiratory infection
  • human metapneumovirus
  • innate immunity
  • type I interferon
  • virus tropism


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