ABSTRACT: Cell entry by non-enveloped viruses requires translocation into the cytosol of a macromolecular complex--for double-strand RNA viruses, a complete subviral particle. We have used live-cell fluorescence imaging to follow rotavirus entry and penetration into the cytosol of its ? 700 Å inner capsid particle ("double-layered particle", DLP). We label with distinct fluorescent tags the DLP and each of the two outer-layer proteins and track the fates of each species as the particles bind and enter BSC-1 cells. Virions attach to their glycolipid receptors in the host cell membrane and rapidly become inaccessible to externally added agents; most particles that release their DLP into the cytosol have done so by ? 10 minutes, as detected by rapid diffusional motion of the DLP away from residual outer-layer proteins. Electron microscopy shows images of particles at various stages of engulfment into tightly fitting membrane invaginations, consistent with the interpretation that rotavirus particles drive their own uptake. Electron cryotomography of membrane-bound virions also shows closely wrapped membrane. Combined with high resolution structural information about the viral components, these observations suggest a molecular model for membrane disruption and DLP penetration.
Project description:Infectious rotavirus particles are triple-layered, icosahedral assemblies. The outer layer proteins, VP4 (cleaved to VP8* and VP5*) and VP7, surround a transcriptionally competent, double-layer particle (DLP), which they deliver into the cytosol. During entry of rhesus rotavirus, VP8* interacts with cell surface gangliosides, allowing engulfment into a membrane vesicle by a clathrin-independent process. Escape into the cytosol and outer-layer shedding depend on interaction of a hydrophobic surface on VP5* with the membrane bilayer and on a large-scale conformational change. We report here experiments that detect the fate of released DLPs and their efficiency in initiating RNA synthesis. By replacing the outer layer with fluorescently tagged, recombinant proteins and also tagging the DLP, we distinguished particles that have lost their outer layer and entered the cytosol (uncoated) from those still within membrane vesicles. We used fluorescent in situ hybridization with probes for nascent transcripts to determine how soon after uncoating transcription began and what fraction of the uncoated particles were active in initiating RNA synthesis. We detected RNA synthesis by uncoated particles as early as 15 min after adding virus. The uncoating efficiency was 20 to 50%; of the uncoated particles, about 10 to 15% synthesized detectable RNA. In the format of our experiments, about 10% of the added particles attached to the cell surface, giving an overall ratio of added particles to RNA-synthesizing particles of between 250:1 and 500:1, in good agreement with the ratio of particles to focus-forming units determined by infectivity assays. Thus, RNA synthesis by even a single, uncoated particle can initiate infection in a cell.IMPORTANCE The pathways by which a virus enters a cell transform its packaged genome into an active one. Contemporary fluorescence microscopy can detect individual virus particles as they enter cells, allowing us to map their multistep entry pathways. Rotaviruses, like most viruses that lack membranes of their own, disrupt or perforate the intracellular, membrane-enclosed compartment into which they become engulfed following attachment to a cell surface, in order to gain access to the cell interior. The properties of rotavirus particles make it possible to determine molecular mechanisms for these entry steps. In the work described here, we have asked the following question: what fraction of the rotavirus particles that penetrate into the cell make new viral RNA? We find that of the cell-attached particles, between 20 and 50% ultimately penetrate, and of these, about 10% make RNA. RNA synthesis by even a single virus particle can initiate a productive infection.
Project description:Rotaviruses, like other non-enveloped, double-strand RNA viruses, package an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase (RdRp) with each duplex of their segmented genomes. Rotavirus cell entry results in loss of an outer protein layer and delivery into the cytosol of an intact, inner capsid particle (the "double-layer particle," or DLP). The RdRp, designated VP1, is active inside the DLP; each VP1 achieves many rounds of mRNA transcription from its associated genome segment. Previous work has shown that one VP1 molecule lies close to each 5-fold axis of the icosahedrally symmetric DLP, just beneath the inner surface of its protein shell, embedded in tightly packed RNA. We have determined a high-resolution structure for the rotavirus VP1 RdRp in situ, by local reconstruction of density around individual 5-fold positions. We have analyzed intact virions ("triple-layer particles"), non-transcribing DLPs and transcribing DLPs. Outer layer dissociation enables the DLP to synthesize RNA, in vitro as well as in vivo, but appears not to induce any detectable structural change in the RdRp. Addition of NTPs, Mg2+, and S-adenosylmethionine, which allows active transcription, results in conformational rearrangements, in both VP1 and the DLP capsid shell protein, that allow a transcript to exit the polymerase and the particle. The position of VP1 (among the five symmetrically related alternatives) at one vertex does not correlate with its position at other vertices. This stochastic distribution of site occupancies limits long-range order in the 11-segment, double-strand RNA genome.
Project description:Rotavirus particles are activated for cell entry by trypsin cleavage of the outer capsid spike protein, VP4, into a hemagglutinin, VP8*, and a membrane penetration protein, VP5*. We have purified rhesus rotavirus VP4, expressed in baculovirus-infected insect cells. Purified VP4 is a soluble, elongated monomer, as determined by analytical ultracentrifugation. Trypsin cleaves purified VP4 at a number of sites that are protected on the virion and yields a heterogeneous group of protease-resistant cores of VP5*. The most abundant tryptic VP5* core is trimmed past the N terminus associated with activation for virus entry into cells. Sequential digestion of purified VP4 with chymotrypsin and trypsin generates homogeneous VP8* and VP5* cores (VP8CT and VP5CT, respectively), which have the authentic trypsin cleavages in the activation region. VP8CT is a soluble monomer composed primarily of beta-sheets. VP5CT forms sodium dodecyl sulfate-resistant dimers. These results suggest that trypsinization of rotavirus particles triggers a rearrangement in the VP5* region of VP4 to yield the dimeric spikes observed in icosahedral image reconstructions from electron cryomicroscopy of trypsinized rotavirus virions. The solubility of VP5CT and of trypsinized rotavirus particles suggests that the trypsin-triggered conformational change primes VP4 for a subsequent rearrangement that accomplishes membrane penetration. The domains of VP4 defined by protease analysis contain all mapped neutralizing epitopes, sialic acid binding residues, the heptad repeat region, and the membrane permeabilization region. This biochemical analysis of VP4 provides sequence-specific structural information that complements electron cryomicroscopy data and defines targets and strategies for atomic-resolution structural studies.
Project description:Double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) viruses transcribe and replicate RNA within an assembled, inner capsid particle; only plus-sense mRNA emerges into the intracellular milieu. During infectious entry of a rotavirus particle, the outer layer of its three-layer structure dissociates, delivering the inner double-layered particle (DLP) into the cytosol. DLP structures determined by X-ray crystallography and electron cryomicroscopy (cryoEM) show that the RNA coils uniformly into the particle interior, avoiding a "fivefold hub" of more structured density projecting inward from the VP2 shell of the DLP along each of the twelve 5-fold axes. Analysis of the X-ray crystallographic electron density map suggested that principal contributors to the hub are the N-terminal arms of VP2, but reexamination of the cryoEM map has shown that many features come from a molecule of VP1, randomly occupying five equivalent and partly overlapping positions. We confirm here that the electron density in the X-ray map leads to the same conclusion, and we describe the functional implications of the orientation and position of the polymerase. The exit channel for the nascent transcript directs the nascent transcript toward an opening along the 5-fold axis. The template strand enters from within the particle, and the dsRNA product of the initial replication step exits in a direction tangential to the inner surface of the VP2 shell, allowing it to coil optimally within the DLP. The polymerases of reoviruses appear to have similar positions and functional orientations.
Project description:Vaccinia virus (VACV), the model poxvirus, produces two types of infectious particles: mature virions (MVs) and extracellular virions (EVs). EV particles possess two membranes and therefore require an unusual cellular entry mechanism. By a combination of fluorescence and electron microscopy as well as flow cytometry, we investigated the cellular processes that EVs required to infect HeLa cells. We found that EV particles were endocytosed, and that internalization and infection depended on actin rearrangements, activity of Na(+)/H(+) exchangers, and signalling events typical for the macropinocytic mechanism of endocytosis. To promote their internalization, EVs were capable of actively triggering macropinocytosis. EV infection also required vacuolar acidification, and acid exposure in endocytic vacuoles was needed to disrupt the outer EV membrane. Once exposed, the underlying MV-like particle presumably fused its single membrane with the limiting vacuolar membrane. Release of the viral core into the host cell cytosol allowed for productive infection.
Project description:Membrane penetration by reovirus requires successive formation of two cell entry intermediates, infectious subvirion particles (ISVPs) and ISVP*s. In vitro incubation of reovirus virions with high concentration of chymotrypsin (CHT) results in partial digestion of the viral outer capsid to form ISVPs. When virions are instead digested with low concentrations of chymotrypsin, the outer capsid is completely proteolyzed to form cores. We investigated the basis for the inverse relationship between CHT activity and protease susceptibility of the reovirus outer capsid. We report that core formation following low-concentration CHT digestion proceeds via formation of particles that contain a protease-sensitive form of the ?1C protein, a characteristic of ISVP*s. In addition, we found that both biochemical features and viral genetic requirements for ISVP* formation and core formation following low-concentration CHT digestion are identical, suggesting that core formation proceeds via a particle resembling ISVP*s. Furthermore, we determined that intermediates generated following low-concentration CHT digestion are distinct from ISVPs and convert to ISVP*-like particles much more readily than ISVPs. These results suggest that the activity of host proteases used to generate ISVPs can influence the efficiency with which the next step in reovirus cell entry, namely, ISVP-to-ISVP* conversion, occurs.
Project description:During rotavirus entry, a virion penetrates a host cell membrane, sheds its outer capsid proteins, and releases a transcriptionally active subviral particle into the cytoplasm. VP5, the rotavirus protein believed to interact with the membrane bilayer, is a tryptic cleavage product of the outer capsid spike protein, VP4. When a rotavirus particle uncoats, VP5 folds back, in a rearrangement that resembles the fusogenic conformational changes in enveloped-virus fusion proteins. We present direct experimental evidence that this rearrangement leads to membrane binding. VP5 does not associate with liposomes when mounted as part of the trypsin-primed spikes on intact virions, nor does it do so after it has folded back into a stably trimeric, low-energy state. But it does bind liposomes when they are added to virions before uncoating, and VP5 rearrangement is then triggered by addition of EDTA. The presence of liposomes during the rearrangement enhances the otherwise inefficient VP5 conformational change. A VP5 fragment, VP5CT, produced from monomeric recombinant VP4 by successive treatments with chymotrypsin and trypsin, also binds liposomes only when the proteolysis proceeds in their presence. A monoclonal antibody that neutralizes infectivity by blocking a postattachment entry event also blocks VP5 liposome association. We propose that VP5 binds lipid bilayers in an intermediate conformational state, analogous to the extended intermediate conformation of enveloped-virus fusion proteins.
Project description:Rotavirus is a well-studied RNA virus that causes severe gastroenteritis in children. During viral entry, the outer layer of the virion is shed, creating a double-layered particle (DLP) that is competent to perform viral transcription (i.e., mRNA synthesis) and launch infection. While inactive forms of rotavirus DLPs have been structurally characterized in detail, information about the transcriptionally-active DLP remains limited. Here, we used cryo-Electron Microscopy (cryo-EM) and 3D image reconstructions to compare the structures of internal protein components in transcriptionally-active versus inactive DLPs. Our findings showed that transcriptionally-active DLPs gained internal order as mRNA synthesis unfolded, while inactive DLPs remained dynamically disordered. Regions of viral protein/RNA constituents were analyzed across two different axes of symmetry to provide a more comprehensive view of moving components. Taken together, our results bring forth a new view of active DLPs, which may enable future pharmacological strategies aimed at obliterating rotavirus transcription as a therapeutic approach.
Project description:The spike protein VP4 is a key component of the membrane penetration apparatus of rotavirus, a nonenveloped virus that causes childhood gastroenteritis. Trypsin cleavage of VP4 produces a fragment, VP5*, with a potential membrane interaction region, and primes rotavirus for cell entry. During entry, the part of VP5* that protrudes from the virus folds back on itself and reorganizes from a local dimer to a trimer. Here, we report that a globular domain of VP5*, the VP5* antigen domain, is an autonomously folding unit that alternatively forms well-ordered dimers and trimers. Because the domain contains heterotypic neutralizing epitopes and is soluble when expressed directly, it is a promising potential subunit vaccine component. X-ray crystal structures show that the dimer resembles the spike body on trypsin-primed virions, and the trimer resembles the folded-back form of the spike. The same structural elements pack differently to form key intermolecular contacts in both oligomers. The intrinsic molecular property of alternatively forming dimers and trimers facilitates the VP5* reorganization, which is thought to mediate membrane penetration during cell entry.
Project description:Non-enveloped viruses of different types have evolved distinct mechanisms for penetrating a cellular membrane during infection. Rotavirus penetration appears to occur by a process resembling enveloped-virus fusion: membrane distortion linked to conformational changes in a viral protein. Evidence for such a mechanism comes from crystallographic analyses of fragments of VP4, the rotavirus-penetration protein, and infectivity analyses of structure-based VP4 mutants. We describe here the structure of an infectious rotavirus particle determined by electron cryomicroscopy (cryoEM) and single-particle analysis at about 4.3 Å resolution. The cryoEM image reconstruction permits a nearly complete trace of the VP4 polypeptide chain, including the positions of most side chains. It shows how the two subfragments of VP4 (VP8(*) and VP5(*)) retain their association after proteolytic cleavage, reveals multiple structural roles for the ?-barrel domain of VP5(*), and specifies interactions of VP4 with other capsid proteins. The virion model allows us to integrate structural and functional information into a coherent mechanism for rotavirus entry.