The viral factories of mammalian reovirus (MRV) are cytoplasmic structures that serve as sites of viral genome replication and particle assembly. A 721-aa MRV nonstructural protein, μNS, forms the factory matrix and recruits other viral proteins to these structures. In this report, we show that μNS contains a conserved C-proximal sequence (711-LIDFS-715) that is similar to known clathrin-box motifs and is required for recruitment of clathrin to viral factories. Clathrin recruitment by μNS occurs independently of infecting MRV particles or other MRV proteins. Ala substitution for a single Leu residue (mutation L711A) within the putative clathrin-binding motif of μNS inhibits clathrin recruitment, but does not prevent formation or expansion of viral factories. Notably, clathrin-dependent cellular functions, including both endocytosis and secretion, are disrupted in cells infected with MRV expressing wild-type, but not L711A, μNS. These results demonstrate μNS as a novel adaptor-like protein that recruits cellular clathrin to viral factories, disrupting normal functions of clathrin in cellular membrane trafficking. To our knowledge, this is the only viral or bacterial protein yet shown to interfere with clathrin functions in this manner. The results additionally establish a new approach for studies of clathrin functions, based in μNS-mediated sequestration.
adaptor; clathrin; membrane trafficking; reovirus; viral factories
Baboon reovirus (BRV) is a member of the fusogenic subgroup of orthoreoviruses. Unlike most other members of its genus, BRV lacks S-segment coding sequences for the outer fiber protein that binds to cell surface receptors. It shares this lack with aquareoviruses, which constitute a related genus and are also fusogenic. We used electron cryomicroscopy and three-dimensional image reconstruction to determine the BRV virion structure at 9.0-Å resolution. The results show that BRV lacks a protruding fiber at its icosahedral 5-fold axes or elsewhere. The results also show that BRV is like nonfusogenic mammalian and fusogenic avian orthoreoviruses in having 150 copies of the core clamp protein, not 120 as in aquareoviruses. On the other hand, there are no hub-and-spoke complexes attributable to the outer shell protein in the P2 and P3 solvent channels of BRV, which makes BRV like fusogenic avian orthoreoviruses and aquareoviruses but unlike nonfusogenic mammalian orthoreoviruses. The outermost “flap” domains of the BRV core turret protein appear capable of conformational variability within the virion, a trait previously unseen among other ortho- and aquareoviruses. New cDNA sequence determinations for the BRV L1 and M2 genome segments, encoding the core turret and outer shell proteins, were helpful for interpreting the structural features of those proteins. Based on these findings, we conclude that the evolution of ortho- and aquareoviruses has included a series of discrete gains or losses of particular components, several of which cross taxonomic boundaries. Gain or loss of adhesion fibers is one of several common themes in double-stranded RNA virus evolution.
The genome-length, dicistronic mRNA of the double-stranded RNA fungal virus Helminthosporium victoriae virus 190S (genus Victorivirus, family Totiviridae) contains two long open reading frames (ORFs) that overlap in the tetranucleotide AUGA. Translation of the downstream ORF, which encodes the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), has been proposed to depend on ribosomal reinitiation following termination of the upstream ORF, which encodes the capsid protein. In the current study, we examined the RNA sequence determinants for RdRp translation in this virus and demonstrated that a coupled termination-reinitiation (stop-restart) strategy is indeed used. Signals for termination-reinitiation are found within a 32-nucleotide stretch of RNA immediately upstream of the AUGA motif, including a predicted pseudoknot structure. The close proximity in which this predicted structure is followed by the upstream ORF's stop codon appears to be especially important for promoting translation of the downstream ORF. The normal strong preferences for an AUG start codon and the canonical sequence context to favor translation initiation appear somewhat relaxed for the downstream ORF. Similar sequence motifs and predicted RNA structures in other victoriviruses suggest that they all share a related stop-restart strategy for RdRp translation. Members of the genus Victorivirus thus provide new and unique opportunities for exploring the molecular mechanisms of translational coupling, which remain only partly understood in this and other systems.
Trichomonas vaginalis, which causes the most common nonviral sexually transmitted disease worldwide, is itself commonly infected by nonsegmented double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) viruses from the genus Trichomonasvirus, family Totiviridae. To date, cDNA sequences of one or more strains of each of three trichomonasvirus species have been reported, and gel electrophoresis showing several different dsRNA molecules obtained from a few T. vaginalis isolates has suggested that more than one virus strain might concurrently infect the same parasite cell. Here, we report the complete cDNA sequences of 3 trichomonasvirus strains, one from each of the 3 known species, infecting a single, agar-cloned clinical isolate of T. vaginalis, confirming the natural capacity for concurrent (in this case, triple) infections in this system. We furthermore report the complete cDNA sequences of 11 additional trichomonasvirus strains, from 4 other clinical isolates of T. vaginalis. These additional strains represent the three known trichomonasvirus species, as well as a newly identified fourth species. Moreover, 2 of these other T. vaginalis isolates are concurrently infected by strains of all 4 trichomonasvirus species (i.e., quadruple infections). In sum, the full-length cDNA sequences of these 14 new trichomonasviruses greatly expand the existing data set for members of this genus and substantiate our understanding of their genome organizations, protein-coding and replication signals, diversity, and phylogenetics. The complexity of this virus-host system is greater than has been previously well recognized and suggests a number of important questions relating to the pathogenesis and disease outcomes of T. vaginalis infections of the human genital mucosa.
Virally induced structures called viral factories form throughout the cytoplasm of cells infected with mammalian orthoreoviruses (MRV). When expressed alone in cells, MRV nonstructural protein μNS forms factory-like structures very similar in appearance to viral factories, suggesting that it is involved in forming the structural matrix of these structures. μNS also associates with MRV core particles; the core proteins μ2, λ1, λ2, λ3, and σ2; and the RNA-binding nonstructural protein σNS. These multiple associations result in the recruitment or retention of these viral proteins or particles at factory-like structures. In this study, we identified the regions of μNS necessary and sufficient for these associations and additionally examined the localization of viral RNA synthesis in infected cells. We found that short regions within the amino-terminal 220 residues of μNS are necessary for associations with core particles and necessary and sufficient for associations with the proteins μ2, λ1, λ2, σ2, and σNS. We also found that only the λ3 protein associates with the carboxyl-terminal one-third of μNS and that viral RNA is synthesized within viral factories. These results suggest that μNS may act as a cytoplasmic scaffolding protein involved in localizing and coordinating viral replication or assembly intermediates for the efficient production of progeny core particles during MRV infection.
Here we describe the protein interaction platform assay, a method for identifying interacting proteins in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This assay relies on the reovirus scaffolding protein μNS, which forms large focal inclusions in living cells. When a query protein is fused to μNS and potential interaction partners are fused to a fluorescent reporter, interactors can be identified by screening for yeast that display fluorescent foci.
The outer capsid of the nonenveloped mammalian reovirus contains 200 trimers of the μ1 protein, each complexed with three copies of the protector protein σ3. Conformational changes in μ1 following the proteolytic removal of σ3 lead to release of the myristoylated N-terminal cleavage fragment μ1N and ultimately to membrane penetration. The μ1N fragment forms pores in red blood cell (RBC) membranes. In this report, we describe the interaction of recombinant μ1 trimers and synthetic μ1N peptides with both RBCs and liposomes. The μ1 trimer mediates hemolysis and liposome disruption under conditions that promote the μ1 conformational change, and mutations that inhibit μ1 conformational change in the context of intact virus particles also prevent liposome disruption by particle-free μ1 trimer. Autolytic cleavage to form μ1N is required for hemolysis but not for liposome disruption. Pretreatment of RBCs with proteases rescues hemolysis activity, suggesting that μ1N cleavage is not required when steric barriers are removed. Synthetic myristoylated μ1N peptide forms size-selective pores in liposomes, as measured by fluorescence dequenching of labeled dextrans of different sizes. Addition of a C-terminal solubility tag to the peptide does not affect activity, but sequence substitution V13N or L36D reduces liposome disruption. These substitutions are in regions of alternating hydrophobic residues. Their locations, the presence of an N-terminal myristoyl group, and the full activity of a C-terminally extended peptide, along with circular dichroism data that indicate prevalence of β-strand secondary structure, suggest a model in which μ1N β-hairpins assemble in the membrane to form a β-barrel pore.
The mammalian reovirus (MRV) genome comprises 10 double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) segments, packaged along with transcriptase complexes inside each core particle. Effects of four small molecules on transcription by MRV cores were studied for this report, chosen for their known capacities to alter RNA duplex stability. Spermidine and spermine, which enhance duplex stability, inhibited transcription, whereas dimethyl sulfoxide and trimethylglycine, which attenuate duplex stability, stimulated transcription. Different mechanisms were identified for inhibition or activation by these molecules. With spermidine, one round of transcription occurred normally, but subsequent rounds were inhibited. Thus, inhibition occurred at the transition between the end of elongation in one round and initiation in the next round of transcription. Dimethyl sulfoxide or trimethylglycine, on the other hand, had no effect on transcription by a constitutively active fraction of cores in each preparation but activated transcription in another fraction that was otherwise silent for the production of elongated transcripts. Activation of this other fraction occurred at the transition between transcript initiation and elongation, i.e., at promoter escape. These results suggest that the relative stability of RNA duplexes is most important for certain steps in the particle-associated transcription cycles of dsRNA viruses and that small molecules are useful tools for probing these and probably other steps.
Rotavirus RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, VP1, catalyzes RNA synthesis within a subviral particle. This activity depends on core shell protein VP2. A conserved sequence at the 3′ end of plus-strand RNA templates is important for polymerase association and genome replication. We have determined the structure of VP1 at 2.9 Å resolution, as apoenzyme and in complex with RNA. The cage-like enzyme is similar to reovirus λ3, with four tunnels leading to or from a central, catalytic cavity. A distinguishing characteristic of VP1 is specific recognition, by conserved features of the template-entry channel, of four bases, UGUG, in the conserved 3′ sequence. Well-defined interactions with these bases position the RNA so that its 3′ end overshoots the initiating register, producing a stable but catalytically inactive complex. We propose that specific 3′ end recognition selects rotavirus RNA for packaging and that VP2 activates the auto-inhibited VP1/RNA complex to coordinate packaging and genome replication.
Genome replication of mammalian orthoreovirus (MRV) occurs in cytoplasmic inclusion bodies called viral factories. Nonstructural protein μNS, encoded by genome segment M3, is a major constituent of these structures. When expressed without other viral proteins, μNS forms cytoplasmic inclusions morphologically similar to factories, suggesting a role for μNS as the factory framework or matrix. In addition, most other MRV proteins, including all five core proteins (λ1, λ2, λ3, μ2, and σ2) and nonstructural protein σNS, can associate with μNS in these structures. In the current study, small interfering RNA targeting M3 was transfected in association with MRV infection and shown to cause a substantial reduction in μNS expression as well as, among other effects, a reduction in infectious yields by as much as 4 log10 values. By also transfecting in vitro-transcribed M3 plus-strand RNA containing silent mutations that render it resistant to the small interfering RNA, we were able to complement μNS expression and to rescue infectious yields by ~100-fold. We next used μNS mutants specifically defective at forming factory-matrix structures to show that this function of μNS is important for MRV growth; point mutations in a C-proximal, putative zinc-hook motif as well as small deletions at the extreme C terminus of μNS prevented rescue of viral growth while causing μNS to be diffusely distributed in cells. We furthermore confirmed that an N-terminally truncated form of μNS, designed to represent μNSC and still able to form factory-matrix structures, is unable to rescue MRV growth, localizing one or more other important functions to an N-terminal region of μNS known to be involved in both μ2 and σNS association. Thus, factory-matrix formation is an important, though not a sufficient function of μNS during MRV infection; μNS is multifunctional in the course of viral growth.
inclusion body; Reoviridae; silencing; siRNA; viral factory; viroplasm
Two distinct partitiviruses, Penicillium stoloniferum viruses S and F, can be isolated from the fungus Penicillium stoloniferum. The bisegmented dsRNA genomes of these viruses are separately packaged in icosahedral capsids containing 120 coat-protein subunits. We used transmission electron cryomicroscopy and three-dimensional image reconstruction to determine the structure of Penicillium stoloniferum virus S at 7.3-Å resolution. The capsid, ~350 Å in outer diameter, contains 12 pentons, each of which is topped by five arched protrusions. Each of these protrusions is in turn formed by a quasisymmetric dimer of coat protein, for a total of 60 such dimers per particle. The density map shows numerous tubular features, characteristic of α-helices and consistent with secondary-structure predictions for the coat protein. This is the first three-dimensional structure of a virus from the family Partitiviridae and exhibits both similarities to and differences from the so-called “T=2” capsids of other dsRNA viruses.
A low-copy component of mammalian reovirus particles is μ2, an 83-kDa protein encoded by the M1 viral genome segment and packaged within the viral core. Previous studies have identified μ2 as a nucleoside triphosphate phosphohydrolase (NTPase) as well as an RNA 5′-triphosphate phosphohydrolase (RTPase), putatively involved in reovirus RNA synthesis and/or 5′-capping. Other studies have identified μ2 as a microtubule-binding protein, which also associates with the viral factory matrix protein μNS and thereby anchors the factories to cellular microtubules during infections by most reovirus strains. To extend studies of μ2 functions during infection, we tested a small interfering RNA (siRNA) directed against the M1 plus-strand RNAs of reovirus strains Type 1 Lang (T1L) and Type 3 Dearing (T3D). The siRNA strongly suppressed μ2 expression by either strain and reduced infectious yields in a strain-dependent manner. This first strain difference was genetically mapped to the M1 genome segment and tentatively assigned to a single μ2 sequence polymorphism, Pro/Ser208, which also determines a T1L-T3D strain difference in microtubule association. The siRNA-based defect in μ2 expression was rescued by plasmids, containing silent mutations in the siRNA-targeted sequence, which encoded either T1L or T3D μ2, but the growth defect was rescued only by T1L μ2. This second strain difference was also mapped to Pro/Ser208, in that swapping this one residue between T1L and T3D μ2 reversed the rescue phenotypes. Thus, the T1L-T3D strain difference in μ2-microtubule association was correlated not only with the extent of reduction in infectious yields by the siRNA but also with the extent of rescue by plasmid-derived μ2. In addition, the rescue capacity of T1L μ2 was abrogated by nocodazole treatment, providing independent evidence for the importance of μ2-microtubule association in plasmid-based rescue. In two separate cases, the results revealed functional differences between virus- and plasmid-derived μ2. Ala substitutions within the NTP-binding motif of T1L μ2 also abrogated its rescue capacity, suggesting that the NTPase or RTPase activity of μ2 is additionally required for effective viral growth.
The 76-kDa μ1 protein of nonfusogenic mammalian reovirus is a major component of the virion outer capsid, which contains 200 μ1 trimers arranged in an incomplete T=13 lattice. In virions, μ1 is largely covered by a second major outer-capsid protein, σ3, which limits μ1 conformational mobility. In infectious subvirion particles, from which σ3 has been removed, μ1 is broadly exposed on the surface and can be promoted to rearrange into a protease-sensitive and hydrophobic conformer, leading to membrane perforation or penetration. In this study, mutants that resisted loss of infectivity upon heat inactivation (heat-resistant mutants) were selected from infectious subvirion particles of reovirus strains Type 1 Lang and Type 3 Dearing. All of the mutants were found to have mutations in μ1, and the heat-resistance phenotype was mapped to μ1 by both recoating and reassortant genetics. Heat-resistant mutants were also resistant to rearrangement to the protease-sensitive conformer of μ1, suggesting that heat inactivation is associated with μ1 rearrangement, consistent with published results. Rate constants of heat inactivation were determined, and the dependence of inactivation rate on temperature was consistent with the Arrhenius relationship. The Gibbs free energy of activation was calculated with reference to transition-state theory and was found to be correlated with the degree of heat resistance in each of the analyzed mutants. The mutations are located in upper portions of the μ1 trimer, near intersubunit contacts either within or between trimers in the viral outer capsid. We propose that the mutants stabilize the outer capsid by interfering with unwinding of the μ1 trimer.
Expression of a high-risk human papillomavirus (HPV) E7 oncoprotein is sufficient to induce aberrant centrosome duplication in primary human cells. The resulting centrosome-associated mitotic abnormalities have been linked to the development of aneuploidy. HPV type 16 (HPV16) E7 induces supernumerary centrosomes through a mechanism that is at least in part independent of the inactivation of the retinoblastoma tumor suppressor pRb and is dependent on cyclin-dependent kinase 2 activity. Here, we show that HPV16 E7 can concentrate around mitotic spindle poles and that a small pool of HPV16 E7 is associated with centrosome fractions isolated by sucrose density gradient centrifugation. The targeting of HPV16 E7 to the centrosome, however, was not sufficient for centrosome overduplication. Nonetheless, we found that HPV16 E7 can associate with the centrosomal regulator γ-tubulin and that the recruitment of γ-tubulin to the centrosome is altered in HPV16 E7-expressing cells. Since the association of HPV16 E7 with γ-tubulin is independent of pRb, p107, and p130, our results suggest that the association with γ-tubulin contributes to the pRb/p107/p130-independent ability of HPV16 E7 to subvert centrosome homeostasis.
Heat-resistant mutants selected from infectious subvirion particles of mammalian reoviruses have determinative mutations in the major outer-capsid protein μ1. Here we report the isolation and characterization of intragenic pseudoreversions of one such thermostabilizing mutation. From a plaque that had survived heat selection, a number of viruses with one shared mutation but different second-site mutations were isolated. The effect of the shared mutation alone or in combination with second-site mutations was examined using recoating genetics. The shared mutation, D371A, was found to confer (i) substantial thermostability, (ii) an infectivity defect that followed attachment but preceded viral protein synthesis, and (iii) resistance to μ1 rearrangement in vitro, with an associated failure to lyse red blood cells. Three different second-site mutations were individually tested in combination with D371A and found to wholly or partially revert these phenotypes. Furthermore, when tested alone in recoated particles, each of these three second-site mutations conferred demonstrable thermolability. This and other evidence suggest that pseudoreversion of μ1-based thermostabilization can occur by a general mechanism of μ1-based thermolabilization, not requiring a specific compensatory mutation. The thermostabilizing mutation D371A as well as 9 of the 10 identified second-site mutations are located near contact regions between μ1 trimers in the reovirus outer capsid. The availability of both thermostabilizing and thermolabilizing mutations in μ1 should aid in defining the conformational rearrangements and mechanisms involved in membrane penetration during cell entry by this structurally complex nonenveloped animal virus.
Millimolar concentrations of guanidine hydrochloride (GuHCl) are known to inhibit the replication of many plant and animal viruses having positive-sense RNA genomes. For example, GuHCl reversibly interacts with the nucleotide-binding region of poliovirus protein 2CATPase, resulting in a specific inhibition of viral negative-sense RNA synthesis. The use of GuHCl thereby allows for the spatiotemporal separation of poliovirus gene expression and RNA replication and provides a powerful tool to synchronize the initiation of negative-sense RNA synthesis during in vitro replication reactions. In the present study, we examined the effect of GuHCl on mammalian orthoreovirus (MRV), a double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) virus from the family Reoviridae. MRV growth in murine L929 cells was reversibly inhibited by 15 mM GuHCl. Furthermore, 15 mM GuHCl provided specific inhibition of viral dsRNA synthesis while sparing both positive-sense RNA synthesis and viral mRNA translation. By using GuHCl to provide temporal separation of MRV gene expression and genome replication, we obtained evidence that MRV primary transcripts support sufficient protein synthesis to assemble morphologically normal viral factories containing functional replicase complexes. In addition, the coordinated use of GuHCl and cycloheximide allowed us to demonstrate that MRV dsRNA synthesis can occur in the absence of ongoing protein synthesis, although to only a limited extent. Future studies utilizing the reversible inhibition of MRV dsRNA synthesis will focus on elucidating the target of GuHCl, as well as the components of the MRV replicase complexes.
Membrane penetration by nonenveloped reoviruses is mediated by the outer-capsid protein, μ1 (76 kDa). Previous evidence has suggested that an autolytic cleavage in μ1 allows the release of its N-terminally myristoylated peptide, μ1N (4 kDa), which probably then interacts with the target-cell membrane. A substantial rearrangement of the remaining portion of μ1, μ1C (72 kDa), must also have occurred for μ1N to be released, and some regions in μ1C may make additional contacts with the membrane. We describe here a particle-free system to study conformational rearrangements of μ1. We show that removal of the protector protein σ3 is not sufficient to trigger rearrangement of free μ1 trimer and that free μ1 trimer undergoes conformational changes similar to those of particle-associated μ1 when induced by similar conditions. The μ1 rearrangements require separation of the μ1 trimer head domains but not the μ1N/C autocleavage. We have also obtained a relatively homogeneous form of the structurally rearranged μ1 (μ1*) in solution. It is an elongated monomer and retains substantial α-helix content. We have identified a protease-resistant ∼23-kDa fragment of μ1*, which contains the largely α-helical regions designated domains I and II in the conformation of μ1 prior to rearrangement. We propose that the μ1 conformational changes preceding membrane penetration or disruption during cell entry involve (i) separation of the β-barrel head domains in the μ1 trimer, (ii) autolytic cleavage at the μ1N/C junction, associated with partial unfolding of μ1C and release of μ1N, and (iii) refolding of the N-terminal helical domains of μ1C, with which μ1N was previously complexed, accompanied by dissociation of the μ1 trimer.
The mechanisms by which reoviruses induce apoptosis have not been fully elucidated. Earlier studies identified the mammalian reovirus S1 and M2 genes as determinants of apoptosis induction. However, no published results have demonstrated the capacities of the proteins encoded by these genes to induce apoptosis, either independently or in combination, in the absence of reovirus infection. Here we report that the mammalian reovirus μ1 protein, encoded by the M2 gene, was sufficient to induce apoptosis in transfected cells. We also found that μ1 localized to lipid droplets, endoplasmic reticulum, and mitochondria in both transfected cells and infected cells. Two small regions encompassing amphipathic α-helices within a carboxyl-terminal portion of μ1 were necessary for efficient induction of apoptosis and association with lipid droplets, endoplasmic reticulum, and mitochondria in transfected cells. Induction of apoptosis by μ1 and its association with lipid droplets and intracellular membranes in transfected cells were abrogated when μ1 was coexpressed with σ3, with which it is known to coassemble. We propose that μ1 plays a direct role in the induction of apoptosis in infected cells and that this property may relate to the capacity of μ1 to associate with intracellular membranes. Moreover, during reovirus infection, association with σ3 may regulate apoptosis induction by μ1.
Mammalian orthoreoviruses are believed to replicate in distinctive, cytoplasmic inclusion bodies, commonly called viral factories or viroplasms. The viral nonstructural protein μNS has been implicated in forming the matrix of these structures, as well as in recruiting other components to them for putative roles in genome replication and particle assembly. In this study, we sought to identify the regions of μNS that are involved in forming factory-like inclusions in transfected cells in the absence of infection or other viral proteins. Sequences in the carboxyl-terminal one-third of the 721-residue μNS protein were linked to this activity. Deletion of as few as eight residues from the carboxyl terminus of μNS resulted in loss of inclusion formation, suggesting that some portion of these residues is required for the phenotype. A region spanning residues 471 to 721 of μNS was the smallest one shown to be sufficient for forming factory-like inclusions. The region from positions 471 to 721 (471-721 region) includes both of two previously predicted coiled-coil segments in μNS, suggesting that one or both of these segments may also be required for inclusion formation. Deletion of the more amino-terminal one of the two predicted coiled-coil segments from the 471-721 region resulted in loss of the phenotype, although replacement of this segment with Aequorea victoria green fluorescent protein, which is known to weakly dimerize, largely restored inclusion formation. Sequences between the two predicted coiled-coil segments were also required for forming factory-like inclusions, and mutation of either one His residue (His570) or one Cys residue (Cys572) within these sequences disrupted the phenotype. The His and Cys residues are part of a small consensus motif that is conserved across μNS homologs from avian orthoreoviruses and aquareoviruses, suggesting this motif may have a common function in these related viruses. The inclusion-forming 471-721 region of μNS was shown to provide a useful platform for the presentation of peptides for studies of protein-protein association through colocalization to factory-like inclusions in transfected cells.
Reovirus replication and assembly are thought to occur within cytoplasmic inclusion bodies, which we call viral factories. A strain-dependent difference in the morphology of these structures reflects more effective microtubule association by the μ2 core proteins of some viral strains, which form filamentous factories, than by those of others, which form globular factories. For this report, we identified and characterized another strain-dependent attribute of the factories, namely, the extent to which they colocalized with conjugated ubiquitin (cUb). Among 16 laboratory strains and field isolates, the extent of factory costaining for cUb paralleled factory morphology, with globular strains exhibiting higher levels by far. In reassortant viruses, factory costaining for cUb mapped primarily to the μ2-encoding M1 genome segment, although contributions by the λ3- and λ2-encoding L1 and L2 genome segments were also evident. Immunoprecipitations revealed that cells infected with globular strains contained higher levels of ubiquitinated μ2 (Ub-μ2). In M1-transfected cells, cUb commonly colocalized with aggregates formed by μ2 from globular strains but not with microtubules coated by μ2 from filamentous strains, and immunoprecipitations revealed that μ2 from globular strains displayed higher levels of Ub-μ2. Allelic changes at μ2 residue 208 determined these differences. Nocodazole treatment of cells infected with filamentous strains resulted in globular factories that still showed low levels of costaining for cUb, indicating that higher levels of costaining were not a direct result of decreased microtubule association. The factories of globular strains, or their μ2 proteins expressed in transfected cells, were furthermore shown to gain microtubule association and to lose colocalization with cUb when cells were grown at reduced temperature. From the sum of these findings, we propose that μ2 from globular strains is more prone to temperature-dependent misfolding and as a result displays increased aggregation, increased levels of Ub-μ2, and decreased association with microtubules. Because so few of the viral strains formed factories that were regularly associated with ubiquitinated proteins, we conclude that reovirus factories are generally distinct from cellular aggresomes.
Nonfusogenic mammalian orthoreovirus (reovirus) is an enteric pathogen of mice and a useful model for studies of how an enteric virus crosses the mucosal barrier of its host and is subject to control by the mucosal immune system. We recently generated and characterized a new murine immunoglobulin A (IgA)-class monoclonal antibody (MAb), 1E1, that binds to the adhesin fiber, σ1, of reovirus type 1 Lang (T1L) and thereby neutralizes the infectivity of that strain in cell culture. 1E1 is produced in hybridoma cultures as a mixture of monomers, dimers, and higher polymers and is protective against peroral challenges with T1L either when the MAb is passively administered or when it is secreted into the intestines of mice bearing subcutaneous hybridoma tumors. In the present study, selection and analysis of mutants resistant to neutralization by 1E1 identified the region of T1L σ1 to which the MAb binds. The region bound by a previously characterized type 1 σ1-specific neutralizing IgG MAb, 5C6, was identified in the same way. Each of the 15 mutants isolated and analyzed was found to be much less sensitive to neutralization by either 1E1 or 5C6, suggesting the two MAbs bind to largely overlapping regions of σ1. The tested mutants retained the capacity to recognize specific glycoconjugate receptors on rabbit M cells and cultured epithelial cells, even though viral binding to epithelial cells was inhibited by both MAbs. S1 sequence determinations for 12 of the mutants identified σ1 mutations at four positions between residues 415 and 447, which contribute to forming the receptor-binding head domain. When aligned with the σ1 sequence of reovirus type 3 Dearing (T3D) and mapped onto the previously reported crystal structure of the T3D σ1 trimer, the four positions cluster on the side of the σ1 head, across the interface between two subunits. Three such interface-spanning epitopes are thus present per σ1 trimer and require the intact quaternary structure of the head domain for MAb binding. Identification of these intersubunit epitopes on σ1 opens the way for further studies of the mechanisms of antibody-based neutralization and protection with type 1 reoviruses.
The reovirus M1 genome segment encodes the μ2 protein, a structurally minor component of the viral core, which has been identified as a transcriptase cofactor, nucleoside and RNA triphosphatase, and microtubule-binding protein. The μ2 protein is the most poorly understood of the reovirus structural proteins. Genome segment sequences have been reported for 9 of the 10 genome segments for the 3 prototypic reoviruses type 1 Lang (T1L), type 2 Jones (T2J), and type 3 Dearing (T3D), but the M1 genome segment sequences for only T1L and T3D have been previously reported. For this study, we determined the M1 nucleotide and deduced μ2 amino acid sequences for T2J, nine other reovirus field isolates, and various T3D plaque-isolated clones from different laboratories.
Determination of the T2J M1 sequence completes the analysis of all ten genome segments of that prototype. The T2J M1 sequence contained a 1 base pair deletion in the 3' non-translated region, compared to the T1L and T3D M1 sequences. The T2J M1 gene showed ~80% nucleotide homology, and the encoded μ2 protein showed ~71% amino acid identity, with the T1L and T3D M1 and μ2 sequences, respectively, making the T2J M1 gene and μ2 proteins amongst the most divergent of all reovirus genes and proteins. Comparisons of these newly determined M1 and μ2 sequences with newly determined M1 and μ2 sequences from nine additional field isolates and a variety of laboratory T3D clones identified conserved features and/or regions that provide clues about μ2 structure and function.
The findings suggest a model for the domain organization of μ2 and provide further evidence for a role of μ2 in viral RNA synthesis. The new sequences were also used to explore the basis for M1/μ2-determined differences in the morphology of viral factories in infected cells. The findings confirm the key role of Ser/Pro208 as a prevalent determinant of differences in factory morphology among reovirus isolates and trace the divergence of this residue and its associated phenotype among the different laboratory-specific clones of type 3 Dearing.
Several nonenveloped animal viruses possess an autolytic capsid protein that is cleaved as a maturation step during assembly to yield infectious virions. The 76-kDa major outer capsid protein μ1 of mammalian orthoreoviruses (reoviruses) is also thought to be autocatalytically cleaved, yielding the virion-associated fragments μ1N (4 kDa; myristoylated) and μ1C (72 kDa). In this study, we found that μ1 cleavage to yield μ1N and μ1C was not required for outer capsid assembly but contributed greatly to the infectivity of the assembled particles. Recoated particles containing mutant, cleavage-defective μ1 (asparagine → alanine substitution at amino acid 42) were competent for attachment; processing by exogenous proteases; structural changes in the outer capsid, including μ1 conformational change and σ1 release; and transcriptase activation but failed to mediate membrane permeabilization either in vitro (no hemolysis) or in vivo (no coentry of the ribonucleotoxin α-sarcin). In addition, after these particles were allowed to enter cells, the δ region of μ1 continued to colocalize with viral core proteins in punctate structures, indicating that both elements remained bound together in particles and/or trapped within the same subcellular compartments, consistent with a defect in membrane penetration. If membrane penetration activity was supplied in trans by a coinfecting genome-deficient particle, the recoated particles with cleavage-defective μ1 displayed much higher levels of infectivity. These findings led us to propose a new uncoating intermediate, at which particles are trapped in the absence of μ1N/μ1C cleavage. We additionally showed that this cleavage allowed the myristoylated, N-terminal μ1N fragment to be released from reovirus particles during entry-related uncoating, analogous to the myristoylated, N-terminal VP4 fragment of picornavirus capsid proteins. The results thus suggest that hydrophobic peptide release following capsid protein autocleavage is part of a general mechanism of membrane penetration shared by several diverse nonenveloped animal viruses.
Mammalian reoviruses are thought to assemble and replicate within cytoplasmic, nonmembranous structures called viral factories. The viral nonstructural protein μNS forms factory-like globular inclusions when expressed in the absence of other viral proteins and binds to the surfaces of the viral core particles in vitro. Given these previous observations, we hypothesized that one or more of the core surface proteins may be recruited to viral factories through specific associations with μNS. We found that all three of these proteins—λ1, λ2, and σ2—localized to factories in infected cells but were diffusely distributed through the cytoplasm and nucleus when each was separately expressed in the absence of other viral proteins. When separately coexpressed with μNS, on the other hand, each core surface protein colocalized with μNS in globular inclusions, supporting the initial hypothesis. We also found that λ1, λ2, and σ2 each localized to filamentous inclusions formed upon the coexpression of μNS and μ2, a structurally minor core protein that associates with microtubules. The first 40 residues of μNS, which are required for association with μ2 and the RNA-binding nonstructural protein σNS, were not required for association with any of the three core surface proteins. When coexpressed with μ2 in the absence of μNS, each of the core surface proteins was diffusely distributed and displayed only sporadic, weak associations with μ2 on filaments. Many of the core particles that entered the cytoplasm of cycloheximide-treated cells following entry and partial uncoating were recruited to inclusions of μNS that had been preformed in those cells, providing evidence that μNS can bind to the surfaces of cores in vivo. These findings expand a model for how viral and cellular components are recruited to the viral factories in infected cells and provide further evidence for the central but distinct roles of viral proteins μNS and μ2 in this process.