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1.  Mapping of Chikungunya Virus Interactions with Host Proteins Identified nsP2 as a Highly Connected Viral Component 
Journal of Virology  2012;86(6):3121-3134.
Chikungunya virus (CHIKV) is a mosquito-transmitted alphavirus that has been responsible for an epidemic outbreak of unprecedented magnitude in recent years. Since then, significant efforts have been made to better understand the biology of this virus, but we still have poor knowledge of CHIKV interactions with host cell components at the molecular level. Here we describe the extensive use of high-throughput yeast two-hybrid (HT-Y2H) assays to characterize interactions between CHIKV and human proteins. A total of 22 high-confidence interactions, which essentially involved the viral nonstructural protein nsP2, were identified and further validated in protein complementation assay (PCA). These results were integrated to a larger network obtained by extensive mining of the literature for reports on alphavirus-host interactions. To investigate the role of cellular proteins interacting with nsP2, gene silencing experiments were performed in cells infected by a recombinant CHIKV expressing Renilla luciferase as a reporter. Collected data showed that heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein K (hnRNP-K) and ubiquilin 4 (UBQLN4) participate in CHIKV replication in vitro. In addition, we showed that CHIKV nsP2 induces a cellular shutoff, as previously reported for other Old World alphaviruses, and determined that among binding partners identified by yeast two-hybrid methods, the tetratricopeptide repeat protein 7B (TTC7B) plays a significant role in this activity. Altogether, this report provides the first interaction map between CHIKV and human proteins and describes new host cell proteins involved in the replication cycle of this virus.
doi:10.1128/JVI.06390-11
PMCID: PMC3302312  PMID: 22258240
2.  Induction of GADD34 Is Necessary for dsRNA-Dependent Interferon-β Production and Participates in the Control of Chikungunya Virus Infection 
PLoS Pathogens  2012;8(5):e1002708.
Nucleic acid sensing by cells is a key feature of antiviral responses, which generally result in type-I Interferon production and tissue protection. However, detection of double-stranded RNAs in virus-infected cells promotes two concomitant and apparently conflicting events. The dsRNA-dependent protein kinase (PKR) phosphorylates translation initiation factor 2-alpha (eIF2α) and inhibits protein synthesis, whereas cytosolic DExD/H box RNA helicases induce expression of type I-IFN and other cytokines. We demonstrate that the phosphatase-1 cofactor, growth arrest and DNA damage-inducible protein 34 (GADD34/Ppp1r15a), an important component of the unfolded protein response (UPR), is absolutely required for type I-IFN and IL-6 production by mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) in response to dsRNA. GADD34 expression in MEFs is dependent on PKR activation, linking cytosolic microbial sensing with the ATF4 branch of the UPR. The importance of this link for anti-viral immunity is underlined by the extreme susceptibility of GADD34-deficient fibroblasts and neonate mice to Chikungunya virus infection.
Author Summary
Nucleic acids detection by multiple molecular sensors results in type-I interferon production, which protects cells and tissues from viral infections. At the intracellular level, the detection of double-stranded RNA by one of these sensors, the dsRNA-dependent protein kinase also leads to the profound inhibition of protein synthesis. We describe here that the inducible phosphatase 1 co-factor Ppp1r15a/GADD34, a well known player in the endoplasmic reticulum unfolded protein response (UPR), is activated during double-stranded RNA detection and is absolutely necessary to allow cytokine production in cells exposed to poly I:C or Chikungunya virus. Our data shows that the cellular response to nucleic acids can reveal unanticipated connections between innate immunity and fundamental stress pathways, such as the ATF4 branch of the UPR.
doi:10.1371/journal.ppat.1002708
PMCID: PMC3355096  PMID: 22615568

Results 1-2 (2)