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1.  Regulation of Stress Granules and P-Bodies During RNA Virus Infection 
RNA granules are structures within cells that play major roles in gene expression and homeostasis. Two principle kinds of RNA granules are conserved from yeast to mammals: stress granules (SGs), which contain stalled translation initiation complexes, and processing bodies (P-bodies, PBs), which are enriched with factors involved in RNA turnover. Since RNA granules are associated with silenced transcripts, viruses subvert RNA granule function for replicative advantages. This review, focusing on RNA viruses, discusses mechanisms that manipulate stress granules and P-bodies to promote synthesis of viral proteins. Three main themes have emerged for how viruses manipulate RNA granules; i) cleavage of key host factors, ii) control of PKR activation and iii) redirecting RNA granule components for new or parallel roles in viral reproduction, at the same time disrupting RNA granules. Viruses utilize one or more of these routes to achieve robust and productive infection.
PMCID: PMC3652661  PMID: 23554219
2.  Diversion of Stress Granules and P-Bodies During Viral Infection 
Virology  2013;436(2):255-267.
RNA granules are structures within cells that impart key regulatory measures on gene expression. Two general types of RNA granules are conserved from yeast to mammals: stress granules (SGs), which contain many translation initiation factors, and processing bodies (P-bodies, PBs), which are enriched for proteins involved in RNA turnover. Because of the inverse relationship between appearance of RNA granules and persistence of translation, many viruses must subvert RNA granule function for replicative purposes. Here we discuss the viruses and mechanisms that manipulate stress granules and P-bodies to promote synthesis of viral proteins. Several themes have emerged for manipulation of RNA granules by viruses: 1) disruption of RNA granules at the mid-phase of infection, 2) prevention of RNA granule assembly throughout infection, and 3) co-opting of RNA granule proteins for new or parallel roles in viral reproduction. Viruses must employ one or multiple of these routes for a robust and productive infection to occur. The possible role for RNA granules in promoting innate immune responses poses an additional reason why viruses must counteract the effects of RNA granules for efficient replication.
PMCID: PMC3611887  PMID: 23290869
3.  Large G3BP-induced granules trigger eIF2α phosphorylation 
Molecular Biology of the Cell  2012;23(18):3499-3510.
Increasing size of G3BP-induced stress granules is associated with a threshold or switch that must be triggered for eIF2α phosphorylation and subsequent translational repression to occur. Stress granules are active in signaling to the translational machinery and may be important regulators of the innate immune response.
Stress granules are large messenger ribonucleoprotein (mRNP) aggregates composed of translation initiation factors and mRNAs that appear when the cell encounters various stressors. Current dogma indicates that stress granules function as inert storage depots for translationally silenced mRNPs until the cell signals for renewed translation and stress granule disassembly. We used RasGAP SH3-binding protein (G3BP) overexpression to induce stress granules and study their assembly process and signaling to the translation apparatus. We found that assembly of large G3BP-induced stress granules, but not small granules, precedes phosphorylation of eIF2α. Using mouse embryonic fibroblasts depleted for individual eukaryotic initiation factor 2α (eIF2α) kinases, we identified protein kinase R as the principal kinase that mediates eIF2α phosphorylation by large G3BP-induced granules. These data indicate that increasing stress granule size is associated with a threshold or switch that must be triggered in order for eIF2α phosphorylation and subsequent translational repression to occur. Furthermore, these data suggest that stress granules are active in signaling to the translational machinery and may be important regulators of the innate immune response.
PMCID: PMC3442399  PMID: 22833567
4.  Animal virus schemes for translation dominance 
Current opinion in virology  2011;1(5):363-372.
Viruses have adapted a broad range of unique mechanisms to modulate the cellular translational machinery to ensure viral translation at the expense of cellular protein synthesis. Many of these promote virus-specific translation by use of molecular tags on viral mRNA such as internal ribosome entry sites (IRES) and genome-linked viral proteins (VPg) that bind translation machinery components in unusual ways and promote RNA circularization. This review describes recent advances in understanding some of the mechanisms in which animal virus mRNAs gain an advantage over cellular transcripts, including new structural and biochemical insights into IRES function and novel proteins that function as alternate met-tRNAimet carriers in translation initiation. Comparisons between animal and plant virus mechanisms that promote translation of viral mRNAs are discussed.
PMCID: PMC3272495  PMID: 22319551
eIF2-independent; translation initiation; internal ribosome entry; IRES; animal virus
5.  Enterovirus 2Apro Targets MDA5 and MAVS in Infected Cells 
Journal of Virology  2014;88(6):3369-3378.
RIG-I-like receptors (RLRs) MDA5 and RIG-I are key players in the innate antiviral response. Upon recognition of viral RNA, they interact with MAVS, eventually inducing type I interferon production. The interferon induction pathway is commonly targeted by viruses. How enteroviruses suppress interferon production is incompletely understood. MDA5 has been suggested to undergo caspase- and proteasome-mediated degradation during poliovirus infection. Additionally, MAVS is reported to be cleaved during infection with coxsackievirus B3 (CVB3) by the CVB3 proteinase 3Cpro, whereas MAVS cleavage by enterovirus 71 has been attributed to 2Apro. As yet, a detailed examination of the RLR pathway as a whole during any enterovirus infection is lacking. We performed a comprehensive analysis of crucial factors of the RLR pathway, including MDA5, RIG-I, LGP2, MAVS, TBK1, and IRF3, during infection of CVB3, a human enterovirus B (HEV-B) species member. We show that CVB3 inhibits the RLR pathway upstream of TBK1 activation, as demonstrated by limited phosphorylation of TBK1 and a lack of IRF3 phosphorylation. Furthermore, we show that MDA5, MAVS, and RIG-I all undergo proteolytic degradation in CVB3-infected cells through a caspase- and proteasome-independent manner. We convincingly show that MDA5 and MAVS cleavages are both mediated by CVB3 2Apro, while RIG-I is cleaved by 3Cpro. Moreover, we show that proteinases 2Apro and 3Cpro of poliovirus (HEV-C) and enterovirus 71 (HEV-A) exert the same functions. This study identifies a critical role of 2Apro by cleaving MDA5 and MAVS and shows that enteroviruses use a common strategy to counteract the interferon response in infected cells.
IMPORTANCE Human enteroviruses (HEVs) are important pathogens that cause a variety of diseases in humans, including poliomyelitis, hand, foot, and mouth disease, viral meningitis, cardiomyopathy, and more. Like many other viruses, enteroviruses target the host immune pathways to gain replication advantage. The MDA5/MAVS pathway is responsible for recognizing enterovirus infections in the host cell and leads to expression of type I interferons (IFN-I), crucial antiviral signaling molecules. Here we show that three species of HEVs all employ the viral proteinase 2A (2Apro) to proteolytically target MDA5 and MAVS, leading to an efficient blockade upstream of IFN-I transcription. These observations suggest that MDA5/MAVS antagonization is an evolutionarily conserved and beneficial mechanism of enteroviruses. Understanding the molecular mechanisms of enterovirus immune evasion strategies will help to develop countermeasures to control infections with these viruses in the future.
PMCID: PMC3957915  PMID: 24390337
6.  How Do Viruses Interact with Stress-Associated RNA Granules? 
PLoS Pathogens  2012;8(6):e1002741.
PMCID: PMC3386173  PMID: 22761570
7.  Modulation of enteroviral proteinase cleavage of poly(A)-binding protein (PABP) by conformation and PABP-associated factors 
Virology  2008;375(1):59-72.
Poliovirus (PV) causes a drastic inhibition of cellular cap-dependant protein synthesis due to the cleavage of translation factors eukaryotic initiation factor 4G (eIF4G) and poly (A) binding protein (PABP). Only about half of cellular PABP is cleaved by viral 2A and 3C proteinases during infection. We have investigated PABP cleavage determinants that regulate this partial cleavage. PABP cleavage kinetics analyses indicate that PABP exists in multiple conformations, some of which are resistant to 3Cpro or 2Apro cleavage and can be modulated by reducing potential. Cleavage reactions containing a panel of PABP-binding proteins revealed that eukaryotic release factor 3 (eRF3) and PABP-interacting protein 2 (Paip2) modulate and interfere with the cleavage susceptibility of PABP, whereas all other PABP-binding proteins tested do not. We show that PABP on cellular polysomes is cleaved only by 3Cpro and that Paip2 does not sediment with polysomes. Also, viral polysomes contained only full length PABP, however, cellular or viral ribosomes were equally susceptible to 3Cpro cleavage in vitro. Finally, we determined that precursor 3CD and mature 3Cpro have equivalent cleavage activity on purified PABP, but only 3Cpro cleavage activity was stimulated by PABP binding viral RNA. The results further elucidate complex mechanisms where multiple inherent PABP conformations and protein and RNA interactions both serve to differentially regulate PABP cleavage by 3CD, 3Cpro and 2Apro.
PMCID: PMC2409284  PMID: 18321554
poly(A)-binding protein; PABP; poliovirus; Paip2; eRF3; proteinase
8.  Regulation of stress granules in virus systems 
Trends in Microbiology  2012;20(4):175-183.
PMCID: PMC3322245  PMID: 22405519
Stress granule; Antiviral response; Translation silencing; G3BP; TIA-1; eIF4G; PKR
9.  Poliovirus Unlinks TIA1 Aggregation and mRNA Stress Granule Formation▿ 
Journal of Virology  2011;85(23):12442-12454.
In response to environmental stress and viral infection, mammalian cells form foci containing translationally silenced mRNPs termed stress granules (SGs). As aggregates of stalled initiation complexes, SGs are defined by the presence of translation initiation machinery in addition to mRNA binding proteins. Here, we report that cells infected with poliovirus (PV) can form SGs early that contain T-cell-restricted intracellular antigen 1 (TIA1), translation initiation factors, RNA binding proteins, and mRNA. However, this response is blocked as infection progresses, and a type of pseudo-stress granule remains at late times postinfection and contains TIA but lacks translation initiation factors, mRNA binding proteins, and most polyadenylated mRNA. This result was observed using multiple stressors, including viral infection, oxidative stress, heat shock, and endoplasmic reticulum stress. Multiple proteins required for efficient viral internal ribosome entry site-dependent translation are localized to SGs under stress conditions, providing a potential rationale for the evolution and maintenance of the SG inhibition phenotype. Further, the expression of a noncleavable form of the RasGAP-SH3 domain binding protein in PV-infected cells enables SGs whose constituents are consistent with the presence of stalled 48S translation preinitiation complexes to persist throughout infection. These results indicate that in poliovirus-infected cells, the functions of TIA self-aggregation and aggregation of stalled translation initiation complexes into stress granules are severed, leading to novel foci that contain TIA1 but lack other stress granule-defining components.
PMCID: PMC3209409  PMID: 21957303
10.  Poliovirus Switches to an eIF2-Independent Mode of Translation during Infection▿ 
Journal of Virology  2011;85(17):8884-8893.
Inhibition of translation is an integral component of the innate antiviral response and is largely accomplished via interferon-activated phosphorylation of the α subunit of eukaryotic initiation factor 2 (eIF2α). To successfully infect a host, a virus must overcome this blockage by either controlling eIF2α phosphorylation or by utilizing a noncanonical mode of translation initiation. Here we show that enterovirus RNA is sensitive to translation inhibition resulting from eIF2α phosphorylation, but it becomes resistant as infection progresses. Further, we show that the cleavage of initiation factor eIF5B during enteroviral infection, along with the viral internal ribosome entry site, plays a role in mediating viral translation under conditions that are nonpermissive for host cell translation. Together, these results provide a mechanism by which enteroviruses evade the antiviral response and provide insight into a noncanonical mechanism of translation initiation.
PMCID: PMC3165854  PMID: 21697471
11.  Int6 regulates both proteasomal degradation and translation initiation and is critical for proper formation of acini by human mammary epithelium 
Oncogene  2010;30(6):724-736.
INT6/EIF3E has been implicated in breast tumorigenesis, but its functional activities remain poorly defined. We found that repressing INT6 expression induced transformed properties in normal human mammary epithelium (MCF10A); in contrast, Int6 silencing induced apoptosis in HeLa cells. As in yeast, Int6 in human cells was required for assembly of active proteasomes. A reverse phase protein array screen identified SRC3/AIB1 as one oncoprotein whose level and stability increased when Int6 was silenced in MCF10A cells. Our data further show that Int6 binds SRC3 and its ubiquitin ligase Fbw7, thus perhaps mediating the interaction between SRC3-Fbw7 and proteasomes. Consistent with this, Int6 silencing did not increase SRC3 levels in HeLa cells, which have low Fbw7 levels.
Surprisingly, however, polyubiquitylated proteins do not accumulate or may even decrease in Int6-silenced cells that contain defective proteasomes. Considering that decreased ubiquitin might explain this observation and that Int6 might control ubiquitin levels in its role as a subunit of eIF3 (eukaryote translation initiation factor), we found that silencing Int6 reduced monoubiquitin protein levels, which correlated with a shift of ubiquitin mRNAs from larger polysomes to non-translating ribosomes. In contrast, levels of many housekeeping proteins did not change. This apparent reduction in the translation of ubiquitin genes correlated with a modest reduction in protein synthesis rate and formation of large polysomes. To further determine whether Int6 can selectively control translation, we analyzed translation of different 5′-UTR reporters and found that indeed, loss of Int6 had differential effects on these reporters.
Together the data suggest that Int6 depletion blocks ubiquitin-dependent proteolysis by decreasing both ubiquitin levels and the assembly of functional proteasome machinery, leading to accumulation of oncoproteins such as SRC3 that can transform mammary epithelium. Our data also raise the possibility that Int6 can further fine-tune protein levels by selectively controlling translation of specific mRNAs.
PMCID: PMC3017639  PMID: 20890303
eIF3; translation; ubiquitin; proteasomes; tumor suppressor; oncogene
12.  Poliovirus-Mediated Disruption of Cytoplasmic Processing Bodies ▿  
Journal of Virology  2010;85(1):64-75.
Metazoan cells form cytoplasmic mRNA granules such as stress granules (SG) and processing bodies (P bodies) that are proposed to be sites of aggregated, translationally silenced mRNAs and mRNA degradation. Poliovirus (PV) is a plus-strand RNA virus containing a genome that is a functional mRNA; thus, we investigated if PV antagonizes the processes that lead to formation of these structures. We have previously shown that PV infection inhibits the ability of cells to form stress granules by cleaving RasGAP-SH3-binding protein (G3BP). Here, we show that P bodies are also disrupted during PV infection in cells by 4 h postinfection. The disruption of P bodies is more rapid and more complete than disruption of stress granules. The kinetics of P body disruption correlated with production of viral proteinases and required substantial viral gene product expression. The organizing mechanism that forms P body foci in cells is unknown; however, potential scaffolding, aggregating, or other regulatory proteins found in P bodies were investigated for degradation. Two factors involved in 5′-end mRNA decapping and degradation, Xrn1 and Dcp1a, and the 3′ deadenylase complex component Pan3 underwent accelerated degradation during infection, and Dcp1a may be a direct substrate of PV 3C proteinase. Several other key factors proposed to be essential for P body formation, GW182, Edc3, and Edc4, were unaffected by poliovirus infection. Since deadenylation has been reported to be required for P body formation, viral inhibition of deadenylation, through Pan3 degradation, is a potential mechanism of P body disruption.
PMCID: PMC3014174  PMID: 20962086
13.  Fibroblast Growth Factor Receptor Signaling Dramatically Accelerates Tumorigenesis and Enhances Oncoprotein Translation in the Mouse Mammary Tumor Virus–Wnt-1 Mouse Model of Breast Cancer 
Cancer research  2010;70(12):4868-4879.
Fibroblast growth factor (FGF) cooperates with the Wnt/β-catenin pathway to promote mammary tumorigenesis. To investigate the mechanisms involved in FGF/Wnt cooperation, we genetically engineered a model of inducible FGF receptor (iFGFR) signaling in the context of the well-established mouse mammary tumor virus–Wnt-1 transgenic mouse. In the bigenic mice, iFGFR1 activation dramatically enhanced mammary tumorigenesis. Expression microarray analysis did not show transcriptional enhancement of Wnt/β-catenin target genes but instead showed a translational gene signature that also correlated with elevated FGFR1 and FGFR2 in human breast cancer data sets. Additionally, iFGFR1 activation enhanced recruitment of RNA to polysomes, resulting in a marked increase in protein expression of several different Wnt/β-catenin target genes. FGF pathway activation stimulated extracellular signal-regulated kinase and the phosphorylation of key translation regulators both in vivo in the mouse model and in vitro in a human breast cancer cell line. Our results suggest that cooperation of the FGF and Wnt pathways in mammary tumorigenesis is based on the activation of protein translational pathways that result in, but are not limited to, increased expression of Wnt/β-catenin target genes (at the level of protein translation). Further, they reveal protein translation initiation factors as potential therapeutic targets for human breast cancers with alterations in FGF signaling.
PMCID: PMC3005245  PMID: 20501844
14.  Time-dependent increase in ribosome processivity 
Nucleic Acids Research  2010;38(20):7054-7067.
We created a novel tripartite reporter RNA to separately and simultaneously examine ribosome translation rates at the 5′- and 3′-ends of a large open reading frame (ORF) in vitro in HeLa cell lysates. The construct contained Renilla luciferase (RLuc), β-galactosidase and firefly luciferase (FLuc) ORFs linked in frame and separated by a viral peptide sequence that causes cotranslational scission of emerging peptide chains. The length of the ORF contributed to low ribosome processivity, a low number of initiating ribosomes completing translation of the entire ORF. We observed a time-dependent increase in FLuc production rate that was dependent on a poly(A) tail and poly(A)-binding protein, but was independent of eIF4F function. Stimulation of FLuc production occurred earlier on shorter RNA templates. Cleavage of eIF4G at times after ribosome loading on templates occurred did not cause immediate cessation of 5′-RLuc translation; rather, a delay was observed that shortened when shorter templates were translated. Electron microscopic analysis of polysome structures in translation lysates revealed a time-dependent increase in ribosome packing and contact that correlated with increased processivity on the FLuc ORF. The results suggest that ORF transit combined with PABP function contribute to interactions between ribosomes that increase or sustain processivity on long ORFs.
PMCID: PMC2978347  PMID: 20571082
15.  Cleavage of eukaryotic initiation factor eIF5B by enterovirus 3C proteases 
Virology  2008;378(1):118-122.
The enteroviruses poliovirus (PV), Coxsackie B virus (CVB) and rhinovirus (HRV) are members of Picornaviridae that inhibit host cell translation early in infection. Enterovirus translation soon predominates in infected cells, but eventually also shuts off. This complex pattern of modulation of translation suggests regulation by a multifactorial mechanism. We report here that eIF5B is proteolytically cleaved during PV and CVB infection of cultured cells, beginning at 3 hours post-infection and increasing thereafter. Recombinant PV, CVB and HRV 3Cpro cleaved purified native rabbit eukaryotic initiation factor (eIF) 5B in vitro at a single site (VVEQ↓G, equivalent to VMEQ↓G479in human eIF5B) that is consistent with the cleavage specificity of enterovirus 3C proteases. Cleavage separates the N-terminal domain of eIF5B from its essential conserved central GTPase and C-terminal domains. 3Cpro-mediated cleavage of eIF5B may thus play an accessory role in the shut-off of translation that occurs in enterovirus-infected cells.
PMCID: PMC2580754  PMID: 18572216
coxsackievirus; eIF5B; poliovirus; protease; rhinovirus; translation shutoff
16.  Cleavage of Poly(A)-Binding Protein by Poliovirus 3C Proteinase Inhibits Viral Internal Ribosome Entry Site-Mediated Translation▿  
Journal of Virology  2008;82(19):9389-9399.
The two enteroviral proteinases, 2A proteinase (2Apro) and 3C proteinase (3Cpro), induce host cell translation shutoff in enterovirus-infected cells by cleaving canonical translation initiation factors. Cleavage of poly(A)-binding protein (PABP) by 3Cpro has been shown to be a necessary component for host translation shutoff. Here we show that 3Cpro inhibits cap-independent translation mediated by the poliovirus internal ribosome entry site (IRES) in a dose-dependent manner in HeLa translation extracts displaying cap-poly(A) synergy. This effect is independent of the stimulatory effect of 2Apro on IRES translation, and 3Cpro-induced translation inhibition can be partially rescued by addition of recombinant PABP in vitro. 3Cpro inhibits IRES translation on transcripts containing or lacking poly(A) tails, suggesting that cleavage of PABP and IRES trans-activating factors polypyrimidine tract-binding protein and poly r(C)-binding protein 2 may also be important for inhibition. Expression of 3Cpro cleavage-resistant PABP in cells increased translation of nonreplicating viral minigenome reporter RNAs during infection and also delayed and reduced virus protein synthesis from replicating RNA. Further, expression of cleavage-resistant PABP in cells reduced the accumulation of viral RNA and the output of infectious virus. These results suggest that cleavage of PABP contributes to viral translation shutoff that is required for the switch from translation to RNA replication.
PMCID: PMC2546981  PMID: 18632855
17.  Translation of cIAP2 mRNA Is Mediated Exclusively by a Stress-Modulated Ribosome Shunt▿  
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2008;28(6):2011-2022.
During cellular stress, translation persists or increases for a number of stress-responsive proteins, including cellular inhibitor of apoptosis 2 (cIAP2). The cIAP2 transcript includes a very long (2.78-kb) 5′ untranslated region (UTR) with an unusually high number of upstream AUGs (uAUGs), i.e., 64, and a stable predicted secondary structure (ΔG ≅ −620 kcal/mol) that should completely block conventional scanning-dependent translation initiation. This region did not facilitate internal ribosome entry in vitro or when RNA reporter transcripts were transfected into cells. However, several structural features within the cIAP2 5′ UTR were observed to be nearly identical to those required for ribosome shunting in cauliflower mosaic virus RNA and are well conserved in cIAP2 orthologs. Selective mutation revealed that the cIAP2 mRNA mediates translation exclusively via ribosome shunting that bypasses 62 uAUGs. In addition, shunting efficiency was altered by stress and was greatly facilitated by a conserved RNA folding domain (1,470 to 1,877 nucleotides upstream) in a region not scanned by shunting ribosomes. This arrangement suggests that regulation of cIAP2 shunting may involve recruitment of RNA binding proteins to modulate the efficiency of translation initiation.
PMCID: PMC2268400  PMID: 18195037
18.  Calicivirus 3C-Like Proteinase Inhibits Cellular Translation by Cleavage of Poly(A)-Binding Protein 
Journal of Virology  2004;78(15):8172-8182.
Caliciviruses are single-stranded RNA viruses that cause a wide range of diseases in both humans and animals, but little is known about the regulation of cellular translation during infection. We used two distinct calicivirus strains, MD145-12 (genus Norovirus) and feline calicivirus (FCV) (genus Vesivirus), to investigate potential strategies used by the caliciviruses to inhibit cellular translation. Recombinant 3C-like proteinases (r3CLpro) from norovirus and FCV were found to cleave poly(A)-binding protein (PABP) in the absence of other viral proteins. The norovirus r3CLpro PABP cleavage products were indistinguishable from those generated by poliovirus (PV) 3Cpro cleavage, while the FCV r3CLpro products differed due to cleavage at an alternate cleavage site 24 amino acids downstream of one of the PV 3Cpro cleavage sites. All cleavages by calicivirus or PV proteases separated the C-terminal domain of PABP that binds translation factors eIF4B and eRF3 from the N-terminal RNA-binding domain of PABP. The effect of PABP cleavage by the norovirus r3CLpro was analyzed in HeLa cell translation extracts, and the presence of r3CLpro inhibited translation of both endogenous and exogenous mRNAs. Translation inhibition was poly(A) dependent, and replenishment of the extracts with PABP restored translation. Analysis of FCV-infected feline kidney cells showed that the levels of de novo cellular protein synthesis decreased over time as virus-specific proteins accumulated, and cleavage of PABP occurred in virus-infected cells. Our data indicate that the calicivirus 3CLpro, like PV 3Cpro, mediates the cleavage of PABP as part of its strategy to inhibit cellular translation. PABP cleavage may be a common mechanism among certain virus families to manipulate cellular translation.
PMCID: PMC446144  PMID: 15254188
19.  Proteolytic Cleavage of the Catalytic Subunit of DNA-Dependent Protein Kinase during Poliovirus Infection 
Journal of Virology  2004;78(12):6313-6321.
DNA-dependent protein kinase (DNA-PK) is a serine/threonine kinase that has critical roles in DNA double-strand break repair, as well as B- and T-cell antigen receptor rearrangement. The DNA-PK enzyme consists of the Ku regulatory subunit and a 450-kDa catalytic subunit termed DNA-PKCS. Both of these subunits are autoantigens associated with connective tissue diseases such as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and scleroderma. In this report, we show that DNA-PKCS is cleaved during poliovirus infection of HeLa cells. Cleavage was visible as early as 1.5 h postinfection (hpi) and resulted in an approximately 40% reduction in the levels of native protein by 5.5 hpi. Consistent with this observation, the activity of the DNA-PKCS enzyme was also reduced during viral infection, as determined by immunoprecipitation kinase assays. Although it has previously been shown that DNA-PKCS is a substrate of caspase-3 in vitro, the protein was still cleaved during poliovirus infection of the caspase-3-deficient MCF-7 cell line. Cleavage was not prevented by infection in the presence of a soluble caspase inhibitor, suggesting that cleavage in vivo was independent of host caspase activation. DNA-PKCS is directly cleaved by a picornaviral 2A protease in vitro, producing a fragment similar in size to the cleavage product observed in vivo. Taken together, our results indicate that DNA-PKCS is cleaved by the 2A protease during poliovirus infection. Proteolytic cleavage of DNA-PKCS during poliovirus infection may contribute to inhibition of host immune responses. Furthermore, cleavage of autoantigens by viral proteases may target these proteins for the autoimmune response by generating novel, or “immunocryptic,” protein fragments.
PMCID: PMC416498  PMID: 15163725
20.  Cleavage of Poly(A)-Binding Protein by Poliovirus 3C Protease Inhibits Host Cell Translation: a Novel Mechanism for Host Translation Shutoff 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2004;24(4):1779-1790.
Cleavage of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4GI (eIF4GI) by viral 2A protease (2Apro) has been proposed to cause severe translation inhibition in poliovirus-infected cells. However, infections containing 1 mM guanidine-HCl result in eIF4GI cleavage but only partial translation shutoff, indicating eIF4GI cleavage is insufficient for drastic translation inhibition. Viral 3C protease (3Cpro) cleaves poly(A)-binding protein (PABP) and removes the C-terminal domain (CTD) that interacts with several translation factors. In HeLa cell translation extracts that exhibit cap-poly(A) synergy, partial cleavage of PABP by 3Cpro inhibited translation of endogenous mRNAs and reporter RNA as effectively as complete cleavage of eIF4GI and eIF4GII by 2Apro. 3Cpro-mediated translation inhibition was poly(A) dependent, and addition of PABP to extracts restored translation. Expression of 3Cpro in HeLa cells resulted in partial PABP cleavage and similar inhibition of translation. PABP cleavage did not affect eIF4GI-PABP interactions, and the results of kinetics experiments suggest that 3Cpro might inhibit late steps in translation or ribosome recycling. The data illustrate the importance of the CTD of PABP in poly(A)-dependent translation in mammalian cells. We propose that enteroviruses use a dual strategy for host translation shutoff, requiring cleavage of PABP by 3Cpro and of eIF4G by 2Apro.
PMCID: PMC344173  PMID: 14749392
21.  Generation of Multiple Isoforms of Eukaryotic Translation Initiation Factor 4GI by Use of Alternate Translation Initiation Codons 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2002;22(13):4499-4511.
Eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4GI (eIF4GI) is an essential protein that is the target for translational regulation in many cellular processes and viral systems. It has been shown to function in both cap-dependent and cap-independent translation initiation by recruiting the 40S ribosomal subunit to the mRNA cap structure or internal ribosome entry site (IRES) element, respectively. Interestingly eIF4GI mRNA itself has been reported to contain an IRES element in its 5′ end that facilitates eIF4GI protein synthesis via a cap-independent mechanism. In HeLa cells, eIF4GI exists as several isoforms that differ in their migration in sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS) gels; however, the nature of these isoforms was unclear. Here, we report a new cDNA clone for eIF4GI that extends the 5′ sequence 340 nucleotides beyond the previously published sequence. The new extended sequence of eIF4GI is located on chromosome 3, within two additional exons immediately upstream of the previously published eIF4GI sequence. When mRNA transcribed from this cDNA clone was translated in vitro, five eIF4GI polypeptides were generated that comigrated in SDS-polyacrylamide gels with the five isoforms of native eIF4GI. Furthermore, translation of eIF4GI-enhanced green fluorescent protein fusion constructs in vitro or in vivo generated five isoforms of fusion polypeptides, suggesting that multiple isoforms of eIF4GI are generated by alternative translation initiation in vitro and in vivo. Mutation of two of the five in-frame AUG residues in the eIF4GI cDNA sequence resulted in loss of corresponding polypeptides after translation in vitro, confirming alternate use of AUGs as the source of the multiple polypeptides. The 5′ untranslated region of eIF4GI mRNA also contains an out-of-frame open reading frame (ORF) that may down-regulate expression of eIF4GI. Further, data are presented to suggest that a proposed IRES embedded in the eIF4GI ORF is able to catalyze synthesis of multiple eIF4GI isoforms as well. Our data suggest that expression of the eIF4GI isoforms is partly controlled by a complex translation strategy involving both cap-dependent and cap-independent mechanisms.
PMCID: PMC133909  PMID: 12052860
22.  Efficient Cleavage of Ribosome-Associated Poly(A)-Binding Protein by Enterovirus 3C Protease 
Journal of Virology  2002;76(5):2062-2074.
Poliovirus (PV) causes a rapid and drastic inhibition of host cell cap-dependent protein synthesis during infection while preferentially allowing cap-independent translation of its own genomic RNA via an internal ribosome entry site element. Inhibition of cap-dependent translation is partly mediated by cleavage of an essential translation initiation factor, eIF4GI, during PV infection. In addition to cleavage of eIF4GI, cleavage of eIF4GII and poly(A)-binding protein (PABP) has been recently proposed to contribute to complete host translation shutoff; however, the relative importance of eIF4GII and PABP cleavage has not been determined. At times when cap-dependent translation is first blocked during infection, only 25 to 35% of the total cellular PABP is cleaved; therefore, we hypothesized that the pool of PABP associated with polysomes may be preferentially targeted by viral proteases. We have investigated what cleavage products of PABP are produced in vivo and the substrate determinants for cleavage of PABP by 2A protease (2Apro) or 3C protease (3Cpro). Our results show that PABP in ribosome-enriched fractions is preferentially cleaved in vitro and in vivo compared to PABP in other fractions. Furthermore, we have identified four N-terminal PABP cleavage products produced during PV infection and have shown that viral 3C protease generates three of the four cleavage products. Also, 3Cpro is more efficient in cleaving PABP in ribosome-enriched fractions than 2Apro in vitro. In addition, binding of PABP to poly(A) RNA stimulates 3Cpro-mediated cleavage and inhibits 2Apro-mediated cleavage. These results suggest that 3Cpro plays a major role in processing PABP during virus infection and that the interaction of PABP with translation initiation factors, ribosomes, or poly(A) RNA may promote its cleavage by viral 2A and 3C proteases.
PMCID: PMC135927  PMID: 11836384
23.  Multiple eIF4GI-Specific Protease Activities Present in Uninfected and Poliovirus-Infected Cells 
Journal of Virology  2002;76(1):165-177.
Cleavage of eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4GI (eIF4GI) is required for shutoff of host cell translation during poliovirus (PV) infection of HeLa cells. Reports published by several groups have led to confusion whether this cleavage is mediated by viral 2A protease (2Apro) or a putative cellular enzyme (termed eIF4Gase) which is activated by 2Apro or other aspects of viral infection. Here we have further investigated eIF4Gase activities in PV-infected cells. Column purification of eIF4GI cleavage activity separated two activities which generated N-terminal cleavage products of different lengths. Both activities were detected using either native eIF4G or radiolabeled recombinant eIF4G as the substrate. Analysis of cleavage products formed by each activity on native and mutant substrates suggests that one activity cleaves eIF4G1 at or very near the 2Apro cleavage site and the other activity cleaves approximately 40 residues upstream of the 2Apro cleavage site. When PV infections in HeLa cells were supplemented with 2 mM guanidine, which indirectly limits expression of 2Apro, two distinct C-terminal cleavage fragments of eIF4GI were detected. These C-terminal cleavage fragments of eIF4GI were purified from infected cells, and a new eIF4GI cleavage site was mapped to a unique site 43 amino acids upstream of the known 2Apro cleavage site. Further, eIF4GI cleavage in vivo could be blocked by addition of zVAD to PV-guanidine infections. zVAD is a broad-spectrum caspase inhibitor which had no effect on 2Apro cleavage activity or PV polyprotein processing. Lastly, similar types of eIF4Gase cleavage activities were also detected in uninfected cells under various conditions, including early apoptosis or during cell cycle transit. The data suggest that the same types of eIF4GI cleavage activities which are generated in PV-infected cells can also be generated in the absence of virus. Taken together, the data support a model in which multiple cellular activities process eIF4GI in PV-infected cells, in addition to 2Apro.
PMCID: PMC135685  PMID: 11739682
24.  Cleavage of Poly(A)-Binding Protein by Enterovirus Proteases Concurrent with Inhibition of Translation In Vitro 
Journal of Virology  1999;73(1):718-727.
Many enteroviruses, members of the family Picornaviridae, cause a rapid and drastic inhibition of host cell protein synthesis during infection, a process referred to as host cell shutoff. Poliovirus, one of the best-studied enteroviruses, causes marked inhibition of host cell translation while preferentially allowing translation of its own genomic mRNA. An abundance of experimental evidence has accumulated to indicate that cleavage of an essential translation initiation factor, eIF4G, during infection is responsible at least in part for this shutoff. However, evidence from inhibitors of viral replication suggests that an additional event is necessary for the complete translational shutoff observed during productive infection. This report examines the effect of poliovirus infection on a recently characterized 3′ end translational stimulatory protein, poly(A)-binding protein (PABP). PABP is involved in stimulating translation initiation in lower eukaryotes by its interaction with the poly(A) tail on mRNAs and has been proposed to facilitate 5′-end–3′-end interactions in the context of the closed-loop translational model. Here, we show that PABP is specifically degraded during poliovirus infection and that it is cleaved in vitro by both poliovirus 2A and 3C proteases and coxsackievirus B3 2A protease. Further, PABP cleavage by 2A protease is accompanied by concurrent loss of translational activity in an in vitro-translation assay. Similar loss of translational activity also occurs simultaneously with partial 3C protease-mediated cleavage of PABP in translation assays. Further, PABP is not degraded during infections in the presence of guanidine-HCl, which blocks the complete development of host translation shutoff. These results provide preliminary evidence that cleavage of PABP may contribute to inhibition of host translation in infected HeLa cells, and they are consistent with the hypothesis that PABP plays a role in facilitating translation initiation in higher eukaryotes.
PMCID: PMC103879  PMID: 9847378
25.  Eukaryotic Translation Initiation Factor 4G Is Targeted for Proteolytic Cleavage by Caspase 3 during Inhibition of Translation in Apoptotic Cells 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  1998;18(12):7565-7574.
Although much is known about the multiple mechanisms which induce apoptosis, comparatively little is understood concerning the execution phase of apoptosis and the mechanism(s) of cell killing. Several reports have demonstrated that cellular translation is shut off during apoptosis; however, details of the mechanism of translation inhibition are lacking. Translation initiation factor 4G (eIF4G) is a crucial protein required for binding cellular mRNA to ribosomes and is known to be cleaved as the central part of the mechanism of host translation shutoff exerted by several animal viruses. Treatment of HeLa cells with the apoptosis inducers cisplatin and etoposide resulted in cleavage of eIF4G, and the extent of its cleavage correlated with the onset and extent of observed inhibition of cellular translation. The eIF4G-specific cleavage activity could be measured in cell lysates in vitro and was inhibited by the caspase inhibitor Ac-DEVD-CHO at nanomolar concentrations. A combination of in vivo and in vitro inhibitor studies suggest the involvement of one or more caspases in the activation and execution of eIF4G cleavage. Furthermore recombinant human caspase 3 was expressed in bacteria, and when incubated with HeLa cell lysates, was shown to produce the same eIF4G cleavage products as those observed in apoptotic cells. In addition, purified caspase 3 caused cleavage of purified eIF4G, demonstrating that eIF4G could serve as a substrate for caspase 3. Taken together, these data suggest that cellular translation is specifically inhibited during apoptosis by a mechanism involving cleavage of eIF4G, an event dependent on caspase activity.
PMCID: PMC109337  PMID: 9819442

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