Members of the Closteroviridae and Potyviridae families of the plant positive-strand RNA viruses encode one or two papain-like leader proteinases. In addition to a C-terminal proteolytic domain, each of these proteinases possesses a nonproteolytic N-terminal domain. We compared functions of the several leader proteinases using a gene swapping approach. The leader proteinase (L-Pro) of Beet yellows virus (BYV; a closterovirus) was replaced with L1 or L2 proteinases of Citrus tristeza virus (CTV; another closterovirus), P-Pro proteinase of Lettuce infectious yellows virus (LIYV; a crinivirus), and HC-Pro proteinase of Tobacco etch virus (a potyvirus). Each foreign proteinase efficiently processed the chimeric BYV polyprotein in vitro. However, only L1 and P-Pro, not L2 and HC-Pro, were able to rescue the amplification of the chimeric BYV variants. The combined expression of L1 and L2 resulted in an increased RNA accumulation compared to that of the parental BYV. Remarkably, this L1-L2 chimera exhibited reduced invasiveness and inability to move from cell to cell. Similar analyses of the BYV hybrids, in which only the papain-like domain of L-Pro was replaced with those derived from L1, L2, P-Pro, and HC-Pro, also revealed functional specialization of these domains. In subcellular-localization experiments, distinct patterns were observed for the leader proteinases of BYV, CTV, and LIYV. Taken together, these results demonstrated that, in addition to a common proteolytic activity, the leader proteinases of closteroviruses possess specialized functions in virus RNA amplification, virus invasion, and cell-to-cell movement. The phylogenetic analysis suggested that functionally distinct L1 and L2 of CTV originated by a gene duplication event.
A full-length cDNA clone of beet yellows closterovirus (BYV) was engineered and used to map functions involved in the replication of the viral RNA genome and subgenomic RNA formation. Among 10 open reading frames (ORFs) present in BYV, ORFs 1a and 1b suffice for RNA replication and transcription. The proteins encoded in these ORFs harbor putative methyltransferase, RNA helicase, and RNA polymerase domains common to Sindbis virus-like viruses and a large interdomain region that is unique to closteroviruses. The papain-like leader proteinase (L-Pro) encoded in the 5′-proximal region of ORF 1a was found to have a dual function in genome amplification. First, the autocatalytic cleavage between L-Pro and the remainder of the ORF 1a product was essential for replication of RNA. Second, an additional L-Pro function that was separable from proteolytic activity was required for efficient RNA accumulation. The deletion of a large, ∼5.6-kb, 3′-terminal region coding for a 6-kDa hydrophobic protein, an HSP70 homolog, a 64-kDa protein, minor and major capsid proteins, a 20-kDa protein, and a 21-kDa protein (p21) resulted in replication-competent RNA. However, examination of mutants with replacements of start codons in each of these seven 3′-terminal ORFs revealed that p21 functions as an enhancer of genome amplification. The intriguing analogies between the genome organization and replicational requirements of plant closteroviruses and animal coronavirus-like viruses are discussed.
Systemic spread of viruses in plants involves local movement from cell to cell and long-distance transport through the vascular system. The cell-to-cell movement of the Beet yellows virus (BYV) is mediated by a movement protein that is an Hsp70 homolog (Hsp70h). This protein is required for the assembly of movement-competent virions that incorporate Hsp70h. By using the yeast two-hybrid system, in vitro coimmunoprecipitation, and in planta coexpression approaches, we show here that the Hsp70h interacts with a 20-kDa BYV protein (p20). We further demonstrate that p20 is associated with the virions presumably via binding to Hsp70h. Genetic and immunochemical analyses indicate that p20 is dispensable for assembly and cell-to-cell movement of BYV but is required for the long-distance transport of virus through the phloem. These results reveal a novel activity for the Hsp70h that provides a molecular link between the local and systemic spread of a plant virus by docking a long-distance transport factor to virions.
A reporter open reading frame (ORF) coding for a fusion of bacterial β-glucuronidase (GUS) with a proteinase domain (Pro) derived from tobacco etch potyvirus was utilized for tagging individual genes of beet yellows closterovirus (BYV). Insertion of this reporter ORF between the first and second codons of the BYV ORFs encoding the HSP70 homolog (HSP70h), a major capsid protein (CP), and a 20-kDa protein (p20) resulted in the expression of the processed GUS-Pro reporter from corresponding subgenomic RNAs. The high sensitivity of GUS assays permitted temporal analysis of reporter accumulation, revealing early expression from the HSP70h promoter, followed by the CP promoter and later the p20 promoter. The kinetics of transcription of the remaining BYV genes encoding a 64-kDa protein (p64), a minor capsid protein (CPm), and a 21-kDa protein (p21) were examined via Northern blot analysis. Taken together, the data indicated that the temporal regulation of BYV gene expression includes early (HSP70h, CPm, CP, and p21 promoters) and late (p64 and p20 promoters) phases. It was also demonstrated that the deletion of six viral genes that are nonessential for RNA amplification resulted in a dramatic increase in the level of transcription from one of the two remaining subgenomic promoters. Comparison with other positive-strand RNA viruses producing multiple subgenomic RNAs showed the uniqueness of the pattern of closterovirus transcriptional regulation.
The filamentous virion of the closterovirus Beet yellows virus (BYV) consists of a long body formed by the major capsid protein (CP) and a short tail composed of the minor capsid protein (CPm) and the virus-encoded Hsp70 homolog. By using nano-liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry and biochemical analyses, we show here that the BYV 64-kDa protein (p64) is the fourth integral component of BYV virions. The N-terminal domain of p64 is exposed at the virion surface and is accessible to antibodies and mild trypsin digestion. In contrast, the C-terminal domain is embedded in the virion and is inaccessible to antibodies or trypsin. The C-terminal domain of p64 is shown to be homologous to CP and CPm. Mutation of the signature motifs of capsid proteins of filamentous RNA viruses in p64 results in the formation of tailless virions, which are unable to move from cell to cell. These results reveal the dual function of p64 in tail assembly and BYV motility and support the concept of the virion tail as a specialized device for BYV cell-to-cell movement.
The Hsp70 homolog (Hsp70h) of Beet yellows virus (BYV) functions in virion assembly and cell-to-cell movement and is autonomously targeted to plasmodesmata in association with the actomyosin motility system (A. I. Prokhnevsky, V. V. Peremyslov, and V. V. Dolja, J. Virol. 79:14421-14428, 2005). Myosins are a diverse category of molecular motors that possess a motor domain and a tail domain involved in cargo binding. Plants have two classes of myosins, VIII and XI, whose specific functions are poorly understood. We used dominant negative inhibition to identify myosins required for Hsp70h localization to plasmodesmata. Six full-length myosin cDNAs from the BYV host plant Nicotiana benthamiana were sequenced and shown to encode apparent orthologs of the Arabidopsis thaliana myosins VIII-1, VIII-2, VIII-B, XI-2, XI-F, and XI-K. We found that the ectopic expression of the tail domains of each of the class VIII, but not the class XI, myosins inhibited the plasmodesmatal localization of Hsp70h. In contrast, the overexpression of the motor domains or the entire molecules of the class VIII myosins did not affect Hsp70h targeting. Further mapping revealed that the minimal cargo-binding part of the myosin VIII tails was both essential and sufficient for the inhibition of the proper Hsp70h localization. Interestingly, plasmodesmatal localization of the Tobacco mosaic virus movement protein and Arabidopsis protein RGP2 was not affected by myosin VIII tail overexpression. Collectively, our data implicate class VIII myosins in protein delivery to plasmodesmata and suggest that more than one mechanism of such delivery exist in plants.
The beet yellows closterovirus leader proteinase (L-Pro) possesses a C-terminal proteinase domain and a nonproteolytic N-terminal domain. It was found that although L-Pro is not essential for basal-level replication, deletion of its N-terminal domain resulted in a 1,000-fold reduction in RNA accumulation. Mutagenic analysis of the N-terminal domain revealed its structural flexibility except for the 54-codon-long, 5′-terminal element in the corresponding open reading frame that is critical for efficient RNA amplification at both RNA and protein levels.
In eukaryotic virus systems, infection leads to induction of membranous compartments in which replication occurs. Virus-encoded subunits of the replication complex mediate its interaction with membranes. As replication platforms, RNA viruses use the cytoplasmic surfaces of different membrane compartments, e.g., endoplasmic reticulum (ER), Golgi, endo/lysosomes, mitochondria, chloroplasts, and peroxisomes. Closterovirus infections are accompanied by formation of multivesicular complexes from cell membranes of ER or mitochondrial origin. So far the mechanisms for vesicles formation have been obscure. In the replication-associated 1a polyprotein of Beet yellows virus (BYV) and other closteroviruses, the region between the methyltransferase and helicase domains (1a central region (CR), 1a CR) is marginally conserved. Computer-assisted analysis predicts several putative membrane-binding domains in the BYV 1a CR. Transient expression of a hydrophobic segment (referred to here as CR-2) of the BYV 1a in Nicotiana benthamiana led to reorganization of the ER and formation of ~1-μm mobile globules. We propose that the CR-2 may be involved in the formation of multivesicular complexes in BYV-infected cells. This provides analogy with membrane-associated proteins mediating the build-up of “virus factories” in cells infected with diverse positive-strand RNA viruses (alpha-like viruses, picorna-like viruses, flaviviruses, and nidoviruses) and negative-strand RNA viruses (bunyaviruses).
RNA virus replication; membrane vesicles; virus replication factory; endoplasmic reticulum modification; intracellular traffic
Criniviruses comprise one of the genera within the family Closteroviridae. Members in this family are restricted to the phloem and rely on whitefly vectors of the genera Bemisia and/or Trialeurodes for plant-to-plant transmission. All criniviruses have bipartite, positive-sense single-stranded RNA genomes, although there is an unconfirmed report of one having a tripartite genome. Lettuce infectious yellows virus (LIYV) is the type species of the genus, the best studied so far of the criniviruses and the first for which a reverse genetics system was developed. LIYV RNA 1 encodes for proteins predicted to be involved in replication, and alone is competent for replication in protoplasts. Replication results in accumulation of cytoplasmic vesiculated membranous structures which are characteristic of most studied members of the Closteroviridae. These membranous structures, often referred to as Beet yellows virus (BYV)-type vesicles, are likely sites of RNA replication. LIYV RNA 2 is replicated in trans when co-infecting cells with RNA 1, but is temporally delayed relative to RNA 1. Efficient RNA 2 replication also is dependent on the RNA 1-encoded RNA-binding protein, P34. No LIYV RNA 2-encoded proteins have been shown to affect RNA replication, but at least four, CP (major coat protein), CPm (minor coat protein), Hsp70h, and P59 are virion structural components and CPm is a determinant of whitefly transmissibility. Roles of other LIYV RNA 2-encoded proteins are largely as yet unknown, but P26 is a non-virion protein that accumulates in cells as characteristic plasmalemma deposits which in plants are localized within phloem parenchyma and companion cells over plasmodesmata connections to sieve elements. The two remaining crinivirus-conserved RNA 2-encoded proteins are P5 and P9. P5 is 39 amino acid protein and is encoded at the 5′ end of RNA 2 as ORF 1 and is part of the hallmark closterovirus gene array. The orthologous gene in BYV has been shown to play a role in cell-to-cell movement and indicated to be localized to the endoplasmic reticulum as a Type III integral membrane protein. The other small protein, P9, is encoded by ORF 4 overlaps with ORF 3 that encodes the structural protein, P59. P9 seems to be unique to viruses in the genus Crinivirus, as no similar protein has been detected in viruses of the other two genera of the Closteroviridae.
phloem-limited; plasmalemma deposit; whitefly vector; Crinivirus; quintuple gene block
Cell-to-cell movement of beet yellows closterovirus requires four structural proteins and a 6-kDa protein (p6) that is a conventional, nonstructural movement protein. Here we demonstrate that either virus infection or p6 overexpression results in association of p6 with the rough endoplasmic reticulum. The p6 protein possesses a single-span, transmembrane, N-terminal domain and a hydrophilic, C-terminal domain that is localized on the cytoplasmic face of the endoplasmic reticulum. In the infected cells, p6 forms a disulfide bridge via a cysteine residue located near the protein's N terminus. Mutagenic analyses indicated that each of the p6 domains, as well as protein dimerization, is essential for p6 function in virus movement.
Turnip yellow mosaic virus (TYMV) - a member of the alphavirus-like supergroup of viruses - serves as a model system for positive-stranded RNA virus membrane-bound replication. TYMV encodes a precursor replication polyprotein that is processed by the endoproteolytic activity of its internal cysteine proteinase domain (PRO). We recently reported that PRO is actually a multifunctional enzyme with a specific ubiquitin hydrolase (DUB) activity that contributes to viral infectivity. Here, we report the crystal structure of the 150-residue PRO. Strikingly, PRO displays no homology to other processing proteinases from positive-stranded RNA viruses, including that of alphaviruses. Instead, the closest structural homologs of PRO are DUBs from the Ovarian tumor (OTU) family. In the crystal, one molecule's C-terminus inserts into the catalytic cleft of the next, providing a view of the N-terminal product complex in replication polyprotein processing. This allows us to locate the specificity determinants of PRO for its proteinase substrates. In addition to the catalytic cleft, at the exit of which the active site is unusually pared down and solvent-exposed, a key element in molecular recognition by PRO is a lobe N-terminal to the catalytic domain. Docking models and the activities of PRO and PRO mutants in a deubiquitylating assay suggest that this N-terminal lobe is also likely involved in PRO's DUB function. Our data thus establish that DUBs can evolve to specifically hydrolyze both iso- and endopeptide bonds with different sequences. This is achieved by the use of multiple specificity determinants, as recognition of substrate patches distant from the cleavage sites allows a relaxed specificity of PRO at the sites themselves. Our results thus shed light on how such a compact protein achieves a diversity of key functions in viral genome replication and host-pathogen interaction.
Positive-stranded RNA viruses are ultimate parasites. In order to replicate their genome, they first need to invade a host cell and, with usually very limited viral genetic material, subvert the host's molecular machinery. Turnip yellow mosaic virus (TYMV) is an excellent model system for studying positive-stranded RNA virus replication. As for many such viruses, TYMV genome replication is dependent on the activity of a viral proteinase (PRO) to properly process the virus' replication molecules. We have recently established that PRO is a multifunctional enzyme and is also used by TYMV to subvert a key host defense against pathogens. We report here the atomic structure of PRO as well as new functional data on PRO's interaction with the host. Our data shed light on how PRO can perform such multiple activities despite its small size, providing TYMV with a Swiss army knife in its ongoing fight with a vastly more complex host.
Turnip yellow mosaic virus (TYMV), a positive-strand RNA virus belonging to the alphavirus-like supergroup, encodes its nonstructural replication proteins as a 206K precursor with domains indicative of methyltransferase (MT), proteinase (PRO), NTPase/helicase (HEL), and polymerase (POL) activities. Subsequent processing of 206K generates a 66K protein encompassing the POL domain and uncharacterized 115K and 85K proteins. Here, we demonstrate that TYMV proteinase mediates an additional cleavage between the PRO and HEL domains of the polyprotein, generating the 115K protein and a 42K protein encompassing the HEL domain that can be detected in plant cells using a specific antiserum. Deletion and substitution mutagenesis experiments and sequence comparisons indicate that the scissile bond is located between residues Ser879 and Gln880. The 85K protein is generated by a host proteinase and is likely to result from nonspecific proteolytic degradation occurring during protein sample extraction or analysis. We also report that TYMV proteinase has the ability to process substrates in trans in vivo. Finally, we examined the processing of the 206K protein containing native, mutated, or shuffled cleavage sites and analyzed the effects of cleavage mutations on viral infectivity and RNA synthesis by performing reverse-genetics experiments. We present evidence that PRO/HEL cleavage is critical for productive virus infection and that the impaired infectivity of PRO/HEL cleavage mutants is due mainly to defective synthesis of positive-strand RNA.
We expressed the gag and proteinase regions of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) type 1 by transcription and translation in vitro. A synthetic RNA spanning the gag and pro domains gave primarily the unprocessed capsid precursor pr53. Efficient cleavage of this precursor was observed when the gag and pro domains were placed in the same translational reading frame, yielding equimolar amounts of the gag protein and of proteinase (PR). Expression of HIV type 1 PR in Escherichia coli as a fusion protein gave rapid autocatalytic processing to an HIV-specific protein of approximately 11 kilodaltons. HIV PR generated in E. coli specifically induced cleavage of the HIV capsid precursor, whereas deletion of the carboxy-terminal 17 amino acids of the proteinase rendered it inactive. Inhibitor studies showed that the enzyme was insensitive to inhibitors of serine and cysteine proteinases and metalloproteinases and was inhibited only by a very high concentration (1 mM) of pepstatin A.
The coronavirus Avian infectious bronchitis virus (IBV) employs polyprotein processing as a strategy to express its gene products. Previously we identified the first cleavage event as proteolysis at the Gly673-Gly674 dipeptide bond mediated by the first papain-like proteinase domain (PLPD-1) to release an 87-kDa mature protein. In this report, we demonstrate a novel cleavage activity of PLPD-1. Expression, deletion, and mutagenesis studies showed that the product encoded between nucleotides 2548 and 8865 was further cleaved by PLPD-1 at the Gly2265-Gly2266 dipeptide bond to release an N-terminal 195-kDa and a C-terminal 41-kDa cleavage product. Characterization of the cleavage activity revealed that the proteinase is active on this scissile bond when expressed in vitro in rabbit reticulocyte lysates and can act on the same substrate in trans when expressed in intact cells. Both the N- and C-terminal cleavage products were detected in virus-infected cells and were found to be physically associated. Glycosidase digestion and site-directed mutagenesis studies of the 41-kDa protein demonstrated that it is modified by N-linked glycosylation at the Asn2313 residue encoded by nucleotides 7465 to 7467. By using a region-specific antiserum raised against the IBV sequence encoded by nucleotides 8865 to 9786, we also demonstrated that a 33-kDa protein, representing the 3C-like proteinase (3CLP), was specifically immunoprecipitated from the virus-infected cells. Site-directed mutagenesis and expression studies showed that a previously predicted cleavage site (Q2583-G2584) located within the 41-kDa protein-encoding region was not utilized by 3CLP, supporting the conclusion that the 41-kDa protein is a mature viral product.
A mutational analysis was conducted to investigate the functions of the tobacco etch potyvirus VPg-proteinase (NIa) protein in vivo. The NIa N-terminal domain contains the VPg attachment site, whereas the C-terminal domain contains a picornavirus 3C-like proteinase. Cleavage at an internal site separating the two domains occurs in a subset of NIa molecules. The majority of NIa molecules in TEV-infected cells accumulate within the nucleus. By using a reporter fusion strategy, the NIa nuclear localization signal was mapped to a sequence within amino acid residues 40 to 49 in the VPg domain. Mutations resulting in debilitation of NIa nuclear translocation also debilitated genome amplification, suggesting that the NLS overlaps a region critical for RNA replication. The internal cleavage site was shown to be a poor substrate for NIa proteolysis because of a suboptimal sequence context around the scissile bond. Mutants that encoded NIa variants with accelerated internal proteolysis exhibited genome amplification defects, supporting the hypothesis that slow internal processing provides a regulatory function. Mutations affecting the VPg attachment site and proteinase active-site residues resulted in amplification-defective viruses. A transgenic complementation assay was used to test whether NIa supplied in trans could rescue amplification-defective viral genomes encoding altered NIa proteins. Neither cells expressing NIa alone nor cells expressing a series of NIa-containing polyproteins supported increased levels of amplification of the mutants. The lack of complementation of NIa-defective mutants is in contrast to previous results obtained with RNA polymerase (NIb)-defective mutants, which were relatively efficiently rescued in the transgenic complementation assay. It is suggested that, unlike NIb polymerase, NIa provides replicative functions that are cis preferential.
Mason-Pfizer monkey virus (M-PMV), like some other betaretroviruses, encodes a G-patch domain (GPD). This glycine-rich domain, which has been predicted to be an RNA binding module, is invariably localized at the 3′ end of the pro gene upstream of the pro-pol ribosomal frameshift sequence of genomic RNAs of betaretroviruses. Following two ribosomal frameshift events and the translation of viral mRNA, the GPD is present in both Gag-Pro and Gag-Pro-Pol polyproteins. During the maturation of the Gag-Pro polyprotein, the GPD transiently remains a C-terminal part of the protease (PR), from which it is then detached by PR itself. The destiny of the Gag-Pro-Pol-encoded GPD remains to be determined. The function of the GPD in the retroviral life cycle is unknown. To elucidate the role of the GPD in the M-PMV replication cycle, alanine-scanning mutational analysis of its most highly conserved residues was performed. A series of individual mutations as well as the deletion of the entire GPD had no effect on M-PMV assembly, polyprotein processing, and RNA incorporation. However, a reduction of the reverse transcriptase (RT) activity, resulting in a drop in M-PMV infectivity, was determined for all GPD mutants. Immunoprecipitation experiments suggested that the GPD is a part of RT and participates in its function. These data indicate that the M-PMV GPD functions as a part of reverse transcriptase rather than protease.
The tobacco etch potyvirus (TEV) polyprotein is proteolytically processed by three viral proteinases (NIa, HC-Pro, and P1). While the NIa and HC-Pro proteinases each provide multiple functions essential for viral infectivity, the role of the P1 proteinase beyond its autoproteolytic activity is understood poorly. To determine if P1 is necessary for genome amplification and/or virus movement from cell to cell, a mutant lacking the entire P1 coding region (delta P1 mutant) was produced with a modified TEV strain (TEV-GUS) expressing beta-glucuronidase (GUS) as a reporter, and its replication and movement phenotypes were assayed in tobacco protoplasts and plants. The delta P1 mutant accumulated in protoplasts to approximately 2 to 3% the level of parental TEV-GUS, indicating that the P1 protein may contribute to but is not strictly required for viral RNA amplification. The delta P1 mutant was capable of cell-to-cell and systemic (leaf-to-leaf) movement in plants but at reduced rates compared with parental virus. This is in contrast to the S256A mutant, which encodes a processing-defective P1 proteinase and which was nonviable in plants. Both delta P1 and S256A mutants were complemented by P1 proteinase expressed in a transgenic host. In transgenic protoplasts, genome amplification of the delta P1 mutant relative to parental virus was stimulated five- to sixfold. In transgenic plants, the level of accumulation of the delta P1 mutant was stimulated, although the rate of cell-to-cell movement was the same as in nontransgenic plants. Also, the S256A mutant was capable of replication and systemic infection in P1-expressing transgenic plants. These data suggest that, in addition to providing essential processing activity, the P1 proteinase functions in trans to stimulate genome amplification.
Plum pox virus (PPV) is a member of the Potyvirus genus that, in nature, infects trees of the Prunus genus. Although PPV infects systemically several species of the Nicotiana genus, such as N. clevelandii and N. benthamiana, and replicates in the inoculated leaves of N. tabacum, it is unable to infect systemically the last host. The long-distance movement defect of PPV was corrected in transgenic tobacco plants expressing the 5"-terminal region of the genome of tobacco etch virus (TEV), a potyvirus that infects systemically tobacco. The fact that PPV was unable to move to upper noninoculated leaves in tobacco plants transformed with the same TEV transgene, but with a mutation in the HC protein (HC-Pro)-coding sequences, identifies the multifunctional HC-Pro as the complementing factor, and strongly suggests that a defect in an HC-Pro activity is responsible for the long-distance movement defect of PPV in tobacco. Whereas PPV HC-Pro strongly intensifies the symptoms caused by potato virus X (PVX) in the PPV systemic hosts N. clevelandii and N. benthamiana, it has no apparent effect on PVX pathogenicity in tobacco, supporting the hypothesis that long-distance movement and pathogenicity enhancement are related activities of the potyviral HC proteins. The movement defect of PPV in tobacco could also be complemented by cucumber mosaic virus in a mixed infection, demonstrating that at least some components of the long-distance machinery of the potyviruses are not strictly virus specific. A general conclusion of this work is that the HC-Pro might be a relevant factor for controlling the host range of the potyviruses.
Tobacco etch virus (TEV) encodes three proteinases that catalyze processing of the genome-encoded polyprotein. The P1 proteinase originates from the N terminus of the polyprotein and catalyzes proteolysis between itself and the helper component proteinase (HC-Pro). Mutations resulting in substitution of a single amino acid, small insertions, or deletions were introduced into the P1 coding sequence of the TEV genome. Deletion of the N-terminal, nonproteolytic domain of P1 had only minor effects on virus infection in protoplasts and whole plants. Insertion mutations that did not impair proteolytic activity had no measurable effects regardless of whether the modification affected the N-terminal nonproteolytic or C-terminal proteolytic domain. In contrast, three mutations (termed S256A, F, and delta 304) that debilitated P1 proteolytic activity rendered the virus nonviable, whereas a fourth proteinase-debilitating mutation (termed C) resulted in a slow-infection phenotype. A strategy was devised to determine whether the defect in the P1 mutants was due to an inactive proteinase domain or due simply to a lack of proteolytic maturation between P1 and HC-Pro. Sequences coding for a surrogate cleavage site recognized by the TEV NIa proteinase were inserted into the genome of each processing-debilitated mutant at positions that resulted in NIa-mediated proteolysis between P1 and HC-Pro. The infectivity of each mutant was restored by these second-site modifications. These data indicate that P1 proteinase activity is not essential for viral infectivity but that separation of P1 and HC-Pro is required. The data also provide evidence that the proteinase domain is involved in additional, nonproteolytic functions.
Secondary structure-sensitive chemical and enzymatic probes have been used to produce a model for the folding of the first 312 residues of the long 5'-noncoding region of beet necrotic yellow vein virus RNA 3. The structure consists of two major domains, one of which includes long distance base-pairing interactions between two short sequence elements (Box I and Box II) situated between positions 237 and 292 and complementary elements (Box I' and II') near the 5'-terminus. Previous studies have shown that base pairing between these sequence elements (in either the plus-strand or minus-strand RNA) is important for RNA 3 accumulation during infection. RNA 3 transcripts were produced containing mutations which preferentially disrupted Box II-II' base pairing in either the plus- or minus-strand. In infection experiments, transcripts with mutations which disrupted the Box II-II' interaction in the plus-strand structure replicated less efficiently than mutants in which the Box II-II' interaction was disrupted in the minus-strand. These findings indicate that the complex 5'-proximal plus-strand structure to which the Box II-II' interaction contributes comprises at least part of the promoter for plus-strand RNA synthesis.
During infection, Beet necrotic yellow vein virus (BNYVV) particles localize transiently to the cytosolic surfaces of mitochondria. To understand the molecular basis and significance of this localization, we analyzed the targeting and membrane insertion properties of the viral proteins. ORF1 of BNYVV RNA-2 encodes the 21-kDa major coat protein, while ORF2 codes for a 75-kDa minor coat protein (P75) by readthrough of the ORF1 stop codon. Bioinformatic analysis highlighted a putative mitochondrial targeting sequence (MTS) as well as a major (TM1) and two minor (TM3 and TM4) transmembrane regions in the N-terminal part of the P75 readthrough domain. Deletion and gain-of-function analyses based on the localization of green fluorescent protein (GFP) fusions showed that the MTS was able to direct a reporter protein to mitochondria but that the protein was not persistently anchored to the organelles. GFP fused either to MTS and TM1 or to MTS and TM3-TM4 efficiently and specifically associated with mitochondria in vivo. The actual role of the individual domains in the interaction with the mitochondria seemed to be determined by the folding of P75. Anchoring assays to the outer membranes of isolated mitochondria, together with in vivo data, suggest that the TM3-TM4 domain is the membrane anchor in the context of full-length P75. All of the domains involved in mitochondrial targeting and anchoring were also indispensable for encapsidation, suggesting that the assembly of BNYVV particles occurs on mitochondria. Further data show that virions are subsequently released from mitochondria and accumulate in the cytosol.
The virus-encoded proteins of tobacco etch virus (TEV), a plant potyvirus, arise by proteolytic processing of a large polyprotein precursor. The TEV genome codes for two proteinases, a 49-kilodalton proteinase and helper component proteinase (HC-Pro), which cleave the polyprotein at specific sites. The only known cleavage event catalyzed by HC-Pro occurs at the HC-Pro carboxyl terminus. The proteolytic activity of HC-Pro was analyzed by expression of the enzyme in bacterial and cell-free systems. The carboxyl-terminal domain of HC-Pro exhibited proteolytic activity in Escherichia coli with a processing half-time of approximately 100 s. The processing kinetics of HC-Pro expressed in vitro by cell-free transcription and translation was variable, depending on the presence or absence of TEV polypeptide sequences at the amino terminus of the proteolytic domain. Cleavage of the HC-Pro carboxyl terminus appeared to proceed exclusively by an autocatalytic mechanism; the proteinase synthesized in vitro exhibited little or no proteolytic activity when reacted with the HC-Pro cleavage site in trans or biomolecular reactions.
The V20 cultivar of Nicotiana tabacum was shown previously to exhibit a strain-specific restriction of long-distance movement of tobacco etch potyvirus (TEV). In V20, both TEV-HAT and TEV-Oxnard strains are capable of genome amplification and cell-to-cell movement, but only TEV-Oxnard is capable of systemic infection by vasculature-dependent long-distance movement. To investigate the basis for host-specific movement of TEV, chimeric virus genomes were assembled from TEV-HAT and TEV-Oxnard. Viruses containing the TEV-Oxnard coding regions for HC-Pro and/or capsid protein (CP), two proteins that are known to be essential for TEV long-distance movement, failed to infect V20 systemically. In contrast, chimeric viruses encoding the TEV-Oxnard VPg domain of NIa were able to infect V20 systemically. The critical region controlling the infection phenotype in V20 was mapped to a 67-nucleotide segment containing 10-nucleotide differences, but only five amino acid differences, between TEV-HAT and TEV-Oxnard. In V20 coinfection experiments, a restricted strain had no effect on systemic infection by a long-distance movement-competent chimeric strain, suggesting that the restricted strain was not inducing a generalized systemic resistance response. These data suggest that the VPg domain, which is covalently attached to the 5' end of genomic RNA, interacts either directly or indirectly with host components to facilitate long-distance movement.
Coronaviruses encode two classes of cysteine proteases, which have narrow substrate specificities and either a chymotrypsin- or papain-like fold. These enzymes mediate the processing of the two precursor polyproteins of the viral replicase and are also thought to modulate host cell functions to facilitate infection. The papain-like protease 1 (PL1pro) domain is present in nonstructural protein 3 (nsp3) of alphacoronaviruses and subgroup 2a betacoronaviruses. It participates in the proteolytic processing of the N-terminal region of the replicase polyproteins in a manner that varies among different coronaviruses and remains poorly understood. Here we report the first structural and biochemical characterization of a purified coronavirus PL1pro domain, that of transmissible gastroenteritis virus (TGEV). Its tertiary structure is compared with that of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus PL2pro, a downstream paralog that is conserved in the nsp3's of all coronaviruses. We identify both conserved and unique structural features likely controlling the interaction of PL1pro with cofactors and substrates, including the tentative mapping of substrate pocket residues. The purified recombinant TGEV PL1pro was shown to cleave a peptide mimicking the cognate nsp2|nsp3 cleavage site. Like its PL2pro paralogs from several coronaviruses, TGEV PL1pro was also found to have deubiquitinating activity in an in vitro cleavage assay, implicating it in counteracting ubiquitin-regulated host cell pathways, likely including innate immune responses. In combination with the prior characterization of PL2pro from other alphacoronaviruses, e.g., human coronaviruses 229E and NL63, our results unequivocally establish that these viruses employ two PLpros with overlapping specificities toward both viral and cellular substrates.
The nucleotide sequence of the genomic RNA (5641 nt) of beet western yellow virus (BWYV) isolated from lettuce has been determined and its genetic organization deduced. The sequence of the 3'terminal 2208 nt of RNA of a second BWYV isolate, obtained from sugarbeet, was also determined and was found to be very similar but not identical to that of the lettuce isolate. The complete sequence of BWYV RNA contains six long open reading frames (ORFs). A cluster of three of these ORFs, including the coat protein cistron, display extensive amino acid sequence homology with corresponding ORFs of a second luteovirus, the PAV isolate of barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) (1,2). The ORF corresponding to the putative viral RNA-dependant RNA polymerase, on the other hand, resembles that of southern bean mosaic virus. There is circumstantial evidence that expression of the BWYV RNA polymerase ORF may involve a translational frameshift mechanism. The ORF immediately following the coat protein cistron may be translated by in-frame readthrough of the coat protein cistron amber termination codon. Similar mechanisms have been proposed for expression of the corresponding ORFs of BYDV(PAV) (1).