Proteolytic processing of the open reading frame 1b-encoded part of arterivirus replicase is mediated by nsp4 serine protease and Is essential for virus replication.
ABSTRACT: The open reading frame (ORF) 1b-encoded part of the equine arteritis virus (EAV) replicase is expressed by ribosomal frameshifting during genome translation, which results in the production of an ORF1ab fusion protein (345 kDa). Four ORF1b-encoded processing products, nsp9 (p80), nsp10 (p50), nsp11 (p26), and nsp12 (p12), have previously been identified in EAV-infected cells (L. C. van Dinten, A. L. M. Wassenaar, A. E. Gorbalenya, W. J. M. Spaan, and E. J. Snijder, J. Virol. 70:6625-6633, 1996). In the present study, the generation of these four nonstructural proteins was shown to be mediated by the nsp4 serine protease, which is the main viral protease (E. J. Snijder, A. L. M. Wassenaar, L. C. van Dinten, W. J. M. Spaan, and A. E. Gorbalenya, J. Biol. Chem. 271:4864-4871, 1996). Mutagenesis of candidate cleavage sites revealed that Glu-2370/Ser, Gln-2837/Ser, and Glu-3056/Gly are the probable nsp9/10, nsp10/11, and nsp11/12 junctions, respectively. Mutations which abolished ORF1b protein processing were introduced into a recently developed infectious cDNA clone (L. C. van Dinten, J. A. den Boon, A. L. M. Wassenaar, W. J. M. Spaan, and E. J. Snijder, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 94:991-997, 1997). An analysis of these mutants showed that the selective blockage of ORF1b processing affected different stages of EAV reproduction. In particular, the mutant with the nsp10/11 cleavage site mutation Gln-2837-->Pro displayed an unusual phenotype, since it was still capable of RNA synthesis but was incapable of producing infectious virus.
Project description:Atypical porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome (PRRS), which is caused by the Chinese highly pathogenic PRRS virus (HP-PRRSV), has resulted in large economic loss to the swine industry since its outbreak in 2006. However, to date, the region(s) within the viral genome that are related to the fatal virulence of HP-PRRSV remain unknown. In the present study, we generated a series of full-length infectious cDNA clones with swapped coding regions between the highly pathogenic RvJXwn and low pathogenic RvHB-1/3.9. Next, the in vitro and in vivo replication and pathogenicity for piglets of the rescued chimeric viruses were systematically analyzed and compared with their backbone viruses. First, we swapped the regions including the 5'UTR+ORF1a, ORF1b, and structural proteins (SPs)-coding region between the two viruses and demonstrated that the nonstructural protein-coding region, ORF1b, is directly related to the fatal virulence and increased replication efficiency of HP-PRRSV both in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, we substituted the nonstructural protein (Nsp) 9-, Nsp10-, Nsp11- and Nsp12-coding regions separately; or Nsp9- and Nsp10-coding regions together; or Nsp9-, Nsp10- and Nsp11-coding regions simultaneously between the two viruses. Our results indicated that the HP-PRRSV Nsp9- and Nsp10-coding regions together are closely related to the replication efficiency in vitro and in vivo and are related to the increased pathogenicity and fatal virulence for piglets. Our findings suggest that Nsp9 and Nsp10 together contribute to the fatal virulence of HP-PRRSV emerging in China, helping to elucidate the pathogenesis of this virus.
Project description:Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is a member within the family Arteriviridae of the order Nidovirales. Replication of this positive-stranded RNA virus within the host cell involves expression of viral replicase proteins encoded by two ORFs, namely ORF1a and ORF1b. In particular, translation of ORF1b depends on a -1-ribosomal frameshift strategy. Thus, nonstructural protein 9 (nsp9), the first protein within ORF1b that specifies the function of the viral RNA-dependent RNA polymerase, is expressed as the C-terminal extension of nsp8, a small nsp that is encoded by ORF1a. However, it has remained unclear whether the mature form of nsp9 in virus-infected cells still retains nsp8, addressing which is clearly critical to understand the biological function of nsp9. By taking advantage of specific antibodies to both nsp8 and nsp9, we report the following findings. (1) In infected cells, PRRSV nsp9 was identified as a major product with a size between 72 and 95 kDa (72-95 KDa form), which exhibited the similar mobility on the gel to the in vitro expressed nsp8-9ORF1b, but not the ORF1b-coded portion (nsp9ORF1b). (2) The antibodies to nsp8, but not to nsp7 or nsp10, could detect a major product that had the similar mobility to the 72-95 KDa form of nsp9. Moreover, nsp9 could be co-immunoprecipitated by antibodies to nsp8, and vice versa. (3) Neither nsp4 nor nsp2 PLP2 was able to cleave nsp8-nsp9 in vitro. Together, our studies provide experimental evidence to suggest that nsp8 is an N-terminal extension of nsp9. Our findings here paves way for further charactering the biological function of PRRSV nsp9.
Project description:Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is a positive-stranded RNA virus belonging to the family Arteriviridae Synthesis of the viral RNA is directed by replication/transcription complexes (RTC) that are mainly composed of a network of PRRSV nonstructural proteins (nsps) and likely cellular proteins. Here, we mapped the interaction network among PRRSV nsps by using yeast two-hybrid screening in conjunction with coimmunoprecipitation (co-IP) and cotransfection assays. We identified a total of 24 novel interactions and found that the interactions were centered on open reading frame 1b (ORF1b)-encoded nsps that were mainly connected by the transmembrane proteins nsp2, nsp3, and nsp5. Interestingly, the interactions of the core enzymes nsp9 and nsp10 with transmembrane proteins did not occur in a straightforward manner, as they worked in the co-IP assay but were poorly capable of finding each other within intact mammalian cells. Further proof that they can interact within cells required the engineering of N-terminal truncations of both nsp9 and nsp10. However, despite the poor colocalization relationship in cotransfected cells, both nsp9 and nsp10 came together with membrane proteins (e.g., nsp2) at the viral replication and transcription complexes (RTC) in PRRSV-infected cells. Thus, our results indicate the existence of a complex interaction network among PRRSV nsps and raise the possibility that the recruitment of key replicase proteins to membrane-associated nsps may involve some regulatory mechanisms during infection.IMPORTANCE Synthesis of PRRSV RNAs within host cells depends on the efficient and correct assembly of RTC that takes places on modified intracellular membranes. As an important step toward dissecting this poorly understood event, we investigated the interaction network among PRRSV nsps. Our studies established a comprehensive interaction map for PRRSV nsps and revealed important players within the network. The results also highlight the likely existence of a regulated recruitment of the PRRSV core enzymes nsp9 and nsp10 to viral membrane nsps during PRRSV RTC assembly.
Project description:MRNA2 of the arteriviruses lactate dehydrogenase-elevating virus (LDV) and equine arteritis virus (EAV) encodes two proteins that are read in different frames, an about 26 kDa minor envelope glycoprotein and an about 8 kDa protein that lacks N-glycosylation sites and a signal peptide, but possesses a central hydrophobic segment. Recent studies have shown that both proteins of EAV are translated from mRNA 2 in EAV infected BHK cells, that the 8 kDa protein is membrane associated and that small amounts of it are recovered in purified virions (Snijder, E.J., van Tol, H., Pederson, K.W., Raamsman, M.J.B., de Vries, A.A.F., 1999. Identification of a novel structural protein of arteriviruses. J. Virol. 73, 6335-6345). The authors concluded that the 8 kDa protein is another arterivirus envelope protein and designated it E protein. However, we have not detected a significant level of an 8 kDa protein in LDV virions and thus conclude that it is not a structural virion component.
Project description:The replicase open reading frame lb (ORF1b) protein of equine arteritis virus (EAV) is expressed from the viral genome as an ORF1ab fusion protein (345 kDa) by ribosomal frameshifting. Processing of the ORF1b polyprotein was predicted to be mediated by the nsp4 serine protease, the main EAV protease. Several putative cleavage sites for this protease were detected in the ORF1b polyprotein. On the basis of this tentative processing scheme, peptides were selected to raise rabbit antisera that were used to study the processing of the EAV replicase ORF1b polyprotein (158 kDa). In immunoprecipitation and immunoblotting experiments, processing products of 80, 50, 26, and 12 kDa were detected. Of these, the 80-kDa and the 50-kDa proteins contain the putative viral polymerase and helicase domains, respectively. Together, the four cleavage products probably cover the entire ORF1b-encoded region of the EAV replicase, thereby representing the first complete processing scheme of a coronaviruslike ORF1b polyprotein. Pulse-chase analysis revealed that processing of the ORF1b polyprotein is slow and that several large precursor proteins containing both ORF1a- and ORF1b-encoded regions are generated. The localization of ORF1b-specific proteins in the infected cell was studied by immunofluorescence. A perinuclear staining was observed, which suggests association with a membranous compartment.
Project description:The nucleotide sequence of the genome of equine arteritis virus (EAV) was determined from a set of overlapping cDNA clones and was found to contain eight open reading frames (ORFs). ORFs 2 through 7 are expressed from six 3'-coterminal subgenomic mRNAs, which are transcribed from the 3'-terminal quarter of the viral genome. A number of these ORFs are predicted to encode structural EAV proteins. The organization and expression of the 3' part of the EAV genome are remarkably similar to those of coronaviruses and toroviruses. The 5'-terminal three-quarters of the genome contain the putative EAV polymerase gene, which also shares a number of features with the corresponding gene of corona- and toroviruses. The gene contains two large ORFs, ORF1a and ORF1b, with an overlap region of 19 nucleotides. The presence of a "shifty" heptanucleotide sequence in this region and a downstream RNA pseudoknot structure indicate that ORF1b is probably expressed by ribosomal frameshifting. The frameshift-directing potential of the ORF1a/ORF1b overlap region was demonstrated by using a reporter gene. Moreover, the predicted ORF1b product was found to contain four domains which have been identified in the same relative positions in coronavirus and torovirus ORF1b products. The sequences of the EAV and coronavirus ORF1a proteins were found to be much more diverged. The EAV ORF1a product contains a putative trypsinlike serine protease motif. Our data indicate that EAV, presently considered a togavirus, is evolutionarily related to viruses from the coronaviruslike superfamily.
Project description:Our knowledge about the structure and function of the nonstructural proteins (nsps) encoded by the arterivirus replicase gene has advanced in recent years. The continued characterization of the nsps of the arterivirus prototype equine arteritis virus has not only corroborated several important functional predictions, but also revealed various novel features of arteriviral replication. For porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV), based on bioinformatics predictions and experimental studies, a processing map for the pp1a and pp1ab replicase polyproteins has been developed. Crystal structures have been resolved for two of the PRRSV nonstructural proteins that possess proteinase activity (nsp1? and nsp4). The functional characterization of the key enzymes for arterivirus RNA synthesis, the nsp9 RNA polymerase and nsp10 helicase, has been initiated. In addition, progress has been made on nsp functions relating to the regulation of subgenomic mRNAs synthesis (nsp1), the induction of replication-associated membrane rearrangements (nsp2 and nsp3), and an intriguing replicative endoribonuclease (nsp11) for which the natural substrate remains to be identified. The role of nsps in viral pathogenesis and host immunity is also being explored, and specific nsps (including nsp1?/?, nsp2, nsp4, nsp7, and nsp11) have been implicated in the modulation of host immune responses to PRRSV infection. The nsp3-8 region was identified as containing major virulence factors, although mechanistic information is scarce. The biological significance of PRRSV nsps in virus-host interactions and the technical advancements in engineering the PRRSV genome by reverse genetics are also reflected in recent developments in the area of vaccines and diagnostic assays.
Project description:SARS-CoV-2 has spread very quickly from its first reported case on 19 January 2020 in the United Stated of America, leading WHO to declare pandemic by 11 March 2020. RNA viruses accumulate mutations following replication and passage in human population, which prompted us to determine the rate and the regions (hotspots) of the viral genome with high rates of mutation. We analyzed the rate of mutation accumulation over a period of 11 weeks (submitted between 19th January to 15 April 2020) in USA SARS-CoV-2 genome. Our analysis identified that majority of the viral genes accumulated mutations, although with varying rates and these included NSP2, NSP3, RdRp, helicase, Spike, ORF3a, ORF8, and Nucleocapsid protein. Sixteen mutations accumulated in Spike protein in which four mutations are located in the receptor binding domain. Intriguingly, we identified a fair number of viral proteins (NSP7, NSP9, NSP10, NSP11, Envelop, ORF6, and ORF7b proteins), which did not accumulate any mutation. Limited changes in these proteins may suggest that they have conserved functions, which are essential for virus propagation. This provides a basis for a better understanding of the genetic variation in SARS-CoV-2 circulating in the US, which could help in identifying potential therapeutic targets for controlling COVID-19.
Project description:All RNA viruses encode an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp), which in arteriviruses is expressed as the C-terminal domain of nonstructural protein 9 (nsp9). Previously, potent primer-dependent RdRp activity has been demonstrated for the homologous polymerase subunit (nsp12) of the distantly related coronaviruses. The only previous study focusing on the in vitro activity of nsp9 of an arterivirus (equine arteritis virus; EAV) reported weak de novo polymerase activity on homopolymeric RNA templates. However, this activity was not retained when Mn(2+) ions were omitted from the assay or when biologically relevant templates were supplied, which prompted us to revisit the biochemical properties of this polymerase. Based on the properties of active-site mutants, we conclude that the RNA-synthesizing activities observed in de novo and primer-dependent polymerase and terminal transferase assays cannot be attributed to recombinant EAV nsp9-RdRp. Our results illustrate the potential pitfalls of characterizing polymerases using highly sensitive biochemical assays.
Project description:Several protein-protein interactions within the SARS-CoV proteome have been identified, one of them being between non-structural proteins nsp10 and nsp16. In this work, we have mapped key residues on the nsp10 surface involved in this interaction. Alanine-scanning mutagenesis, bioinformatics, and molecular modeling were used to identify several "hot spots," such as Val(42), Met(44), Ala(71), Lys(93), Gly(94), and Tyr(96), forming a continuous protein-protein surface of about 830 Å(2), bearing very conserved amino acids among coronaviruses. Because nsp16 carries RNA cap 2'-O-methyltransferase (2'O-MTase) activity only in the presence of its interacting partner nsp10 (Bouvet, M., Debarnot, C., Imbert, I., Selisko, B., Snijder, E. J., Canard, B., and Decroly, E. (2010) PLoS Pathog. 6, e1000863), functional consequences of mutations on this surface were evaluated biochemically. Most changes that disrupted the nsp10-nsp16 interaction without structural perturbations were shown to abrogate stimulation of nsp16 RNA cap 2'O-MTase activity. More strikingly, the Y96A mutation abrogates stimulation of nsp16 2'O-MTase activity, whereas Y96F overstimulates it. Thus, the nsp10-nsp16 interface may represent an attractive target for antivirals against human and animal pathogenic coronaviruses.