Src homology phosphotyrosyl phosphatase 2 (Shp-2) is a ubiquitously expressed protein that is involved in a variety of cellular processes, including antiviral interferon signalling pathways. In this study, we investigated the role of Shp-2 in the host cell interactions of human respiratory syncytial virus (RSV). We report significant changes in the expression of Shp-2 in human pulmonary alveolar epithelial cells (A549) upon RSV infection. We also report that blocking Shp-2 does not affect viral replication or virus-induced interferon-alpha (IFN-α) production. Interestingly, whereas A549 cells were activated by IFN-α, the blocking of Shp-2 resulted in increased viral replication that was associated with the reduced expression of the IFN-stimulated genes of 2',5'-oligoadenylate synthetases and Mx1, and the concomitant inhibition of Stat1 tyrosine phosphorylation. Our findings suggest that Shp-2 contributes to the control of RSV replication and progeny production in pulmonary alveolar epithelial cells by interfering with IFN-α-induced Jak/Stat1 pathway activation rather than by affecting the production of IFN-α itself.
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