Phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase confers resistance to encephalomyocarditis and herpes simplex virus-induced cell death through the activation of distinct downstream effectors
The Janus kinase/STAT pathway has emerged as the paradigm of IFN-induced protection from viral infections. However, the possible participation of other signaling proteins in this protection is not clearly understood. In this report, we demonstrate that activation of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) by either serum factors or IFNs blocks cell death induced by encephalomyocarditis virus (EMCV) and HSV. This increased resistance to virus-induced cell death does not involve the activation of the STAT pathway and occurs in the presence of normal viral replication. Interestingly, the cell uses two different PI3K regulated pathways to block EMCV- and HSV-induced cell death. The increased sensitivity of p85alpha(-/-) embryonic fibroblasts to EMCV-induced cell death is specifically corrected by overexpression of an activated allele of Akt/protein kinase B, but not activated mitogen-activated protein kinase extracellular kinase. Conversely, the augmented sensitivity of p85alpha(-/-) cells to HSV-induced cell death was compensated for by expression of an activated form of mitogen-activated protein kinase extracellular kinase, but not by activated Akt/protein kinase B. We conclude from these data that PI3K-activated pathways function in parallel with the Janus kinase/STAT pathway to protect cells from the lethal effects of viruses.