C3A is a sub-clone of human hepatoblastoma MESHD hepatoblastoma HP HepG2 cell line with the strong contact inhibition of growth. We fortuitously found that C3A was more susceptible to human coronavirus HCoV-OC43 infection MESHD than HepG2, which was attributed to the increased efficiency of virus entry into C3A cells. In an effort to search for the host cellular protein(s) mediating the differential susceptibility of the two cell lines to HCoV-OC43 infection MESHD, we found that ADAP2, GILT and LY6E, three cellular proteins with known activity of interfering virus entry, expressed at significantly higher levels in HepG2 cells. Functional analyses revealed that ectopic expression of LY6E, but not GILT or ADAP2, in HEK 293 cells inhibited the entry of HCoV-OC43. While overexpression of LY6E in C3A and A549 cells efficiently inhibited the infection MESHD of HCoV-OC43, knockdown of LY6E expression in HepG2 significantly increased its susceptibility to HCoV-OC43 infection MESHD. Moreover, we found that LY6E also efficiently restricted the entry mediated by the envelope spike proteins of other human coronaviruses, including the currently pandemic SARS-CoV-2. Interestingly, overexpression of serine protease TMPRSS2 or amphotericin treatment significantly neutralized the IFITM3 restriction of human coronavirus entry, but did not compromise the effect of LY6E on the entry of human coronaviruses. The work reported herein thus demonstrates that LY6E is a critical antiviral immune effector that controls CoV infection MESHD and pathogenesis via a distinct mechanism.
ImportanceVirus entry into host cells is one of the key determinants of host range and cell tropism and is subjected to the control by host innate and adaptive immune responses. In the last decade, several interferon inducible cellular proteins, including IFITMs, GILT, ADAP2, 25CH and LY6E, had been identified to modulate the infectious entry of a variety of viruses. Particularly, LY6E was recently identified as host factors to facilitate the entry of several human pathogenic viruses, including human immunodeficiency HP virus, influenza A virus and yellow fever MESHD fever HP virus. Identification of LY6E as a potent restriction factor of coronaviruses expands the biological function of LY6E and sheds new light on the immunopathogenesis of human coronavirus infection MESHD.