Tilapia dsRNA-activated protein kinase R (PKR): An interferon-induced antiviral effector with translation inhibition activity

Zhen Gan, Jun Cheng, Jing Hou, Shannan Chen, Hongli Xia, Liqun Xia, Kevin W.H. Kwok, Yishan Lu, Pin Nie

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review


The dsRNA-activated protein kinase R (PKR) is one of key antiviral effectors induced by interferons (IFNs), and its functions are largely unknown in tilapia, an important commercial fish species suffering from several viral infectious diseases. In the present study, a PKR gene named On-PKR was identified and cloned from Nile tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus. On-PKR gene was constitutively expressed in all tissues examined, with the highest expression level observed in head kidney and liver, and was rapidly induced in all organs/tissues tested following the stimulation of poly(I:C). Importantly, the expression of On-PKR is induced by group I and group II IFNs with distinct induction kinetics in vivo: group I IFN elicits a relative delayed but sustained induction of On-PKR, whereas group II IFN triggers a rapid and transient expression of On-PKR. Moreover, the overexpression of On-PKR has been proven to inhibit the protein translation and virus replication in fish cells. The present study thus contributes to a better understanding of the functions of antiviral effectors in tilapia, and may provide clues for the prevention and therapy of viral diseases in fish.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)74-80
Number of pages7
JournalFish and Shellfish Immunology
Publication statusPublished - May 2021


  • Antiviral activity
  • Oreochromis niloticus
  • PKR
  • Translation inhibition activity
  • Type I interferons

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Aquatic Science

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