Ebola virus VP24 targets a unique NLS binding site on karyopherin alpha 5 to selectively compete with nuclear import of phosphorylated STAT1.
ABSTRACT: During antiviral defense, interferon (IFN) signaling triggers nuclear transport of tyrosine-phosphorylated STAT1 (PY-STAT1), which occurs via a subset of karyopherin alpha (KPNA) nuclear transporters. Many viruses, including Ebola virus, actively antagonize STAT1 signaling to counteract the antiviral effects of IFN. Ebola virus VP24 protein (eVP24) binds KPNA to inhibit PY-STAT1 nuclear transport and render cells refractory to IFNs. We describe the structure of human KPNA5 C terminus in complex with eVP24. In the complex, eVP24 recognizes a unique nonclassical nuclear localization signal (NLS) binding site on KPNA5 that is necessary for efficient PY-STAT1 nuclear transport. eVP24 binds KPNA5 with very high affinity to effectively compete with and inhibit PY-STAT1 nuclear transport. In contrast, eVP24 binding does not affect the transport of classical NLS cargo. Thus, eVP24 counters cell-intrinsic innate immunity by selectively targeting PY-STAT1 nuclear import while leaving the transport of other cargo that may be required for viral replication unaffected.
Project description:Zaire ebolavirus (EBOV), Bundibugyo ebolavirus (BDBV), and Reston ebolavirus (RESTV) belong to the same genus but exhibit different virulence properties. VP24 protein, a structural protein present in all family members, blocks interferon (IFN) signaling and likely contributes to virulence. Inhibition of IFN signaling by EBOV VP24 (eVP24) involves its interaction with the NPI-1 subfamily of karyopherin alpha (KPNA) nuclear transporters. Here, we evaluated eVP24, BDBV VP24 (bVP24), and RESTV VP24 (rVP24) interactions with three NPI-1 subfamily KPNAs (KPNA1, KPNA5, and KPNA6). Using purified proteins, we demonstrated that each VP24 binds to each of the three NPI-1 KPNAs. bVP24, however, exhibited approximately 10-fold-lower KPNA binding affinity than either eVP24 or rVP24. Cell-based assays also indicate that bVP24 exhibits decreased KPNA interaction, decreased suppression of IFN induced gene expression, and a decreased half-life in transfected cells compared to eVP24 or rVP24. Amino acid sequence alignments between bVP24 and eVP24 also identified residues within and surrounding the previously defined eVP24-KPNA5 binding interface that decrease eVP24-KPNA affinity or bVP24-KPNA affinity. VP24 mutations that lead to reduced KPNA binding affinity also decrease IFN inhibition and shorten VP24 half-lives. These data identify novel functional differences in VP24-KPNA interaction and reveal a novel impact of the VP24-KPNA interaction on VP24 stability. IMPORTANCE:The interaction of Ebola virus (EBOV) VP24 protein with host karyopherin alpha (KPNA) proteins blocks type I interferon (IFN) signaling, which is a central component of the host innate immune response to viral infection. Here, we quantitatively compared the interactions of VP24 proteins from EBOV and two members of the Ebolavirus genus, Bundibugyo virus (BDBV) and Reston virus (RESTV). The data reveal lower binding affinity of the BDBV VP24 (bVP24) for KPNAs and demonstrate that the interaction with KPNA modulates inhibition of IFN signaling and VP24 stability. The effect of KPNA interaction on VP24 stability is a novel functional consequence of this virus-host interaction, and the differences identified between viral species may contribute to differences in pathogenesis.
Project description:Ebola virus (EBOV) infection blocks cellular production of alpha/beta interferon (IFN-alpha/beta) and the ability of cells to respond to IFN-alpha/beta or IFN-gamma. The EBOV VP35 protein has previously been identified as an EBOV-encoded inhibitor of IFN-alpha/beta production. However, the mechanism by which EBOV infection inhibits responses to IFNs has not previously been defined. Here we demonstrate that the EBOV VP24 protein functions as an inhibitor of IFN-alpha/beta and IFN-gamma signaling. Expression of VP24 results in an inhibition of IFN-induced gene expression and an inability of IFNs to induce an antiviral state. The VP24-mediated inhibition of cellular responses to IFNs correlates with the impaired nuclear accumulation of tyrosine-phosphorylated STAT1 (PY-STAT1), a key step in both IFN-alpha/beta and IFN-gamma signaling. Consistent with this proposed function for VP24, infection of cells with EBOV also confers a block to the IFN-induced nuclear accumulation of PY-STAT1. Further, VP24 is found to specifically interact with karyopherin alpha1, the nuclear localization signal receptor for PY-STAT1, but not with karyopherin alpha2, alpha3, or alpha4. Overexpression of VP24 results in a loss of karyopherin alpha1-PY-STAT1 interaction, indicating that the VP24-karyopherin alpha1 interaction contributes to the block to IFN signaling. These data suggest that VP24 is likely to be an important virulence determinant that allows EBOV to evade the antiviral effects of IFNs.
Project description:We recently reported that brefeldin A-inhibited guanine nucleotide-exchange protein 3 (BIG3) binds Prohibitin 2 (PHB2) in cytoplasm, thereby causing a loss of function of the PHB2 tumor suppressor in the nuclei of breast cancer cells. However, little is known regarding the mechanism by which BIG3 inhibits the nuclear translocation of PHB2 into breast cancer cells. Here, we report that BIG3 blocks the estrogen (E2)-dependent nuclear import of PHB2 via the karyopherin alpha (KPNA) family in breast cancer cells. We found that overexpressed PHB2 interacted with KPNA1, KPNA5, and KPNA6, thereby leading to the E2-dependent translocation of PHB2 into the nuclei of breast cancer cells. More importantly, knockdown of each endogenous KPNA by siRNA caused a significant inhibition of E2-dependent translocation of PHB2 in BIG3-depleted breast cancer cells, thereby enhancing activation of estrogen receptor alpha (ER?). These data indicated that BIG3 may block the KPNAs (KPNA1, KPNA5, and KPNA6) binding region(s) of PHB2, thereby leading to inhibition of KPNAs-mediated PHB2 nuclear translocation in the presence of E2 in breast cancer cells. Understanding this regulation of PHB2 nuclear import may provide therapeutic strategies for controlling E2/ER? signals in breast cancer cells.
Project description:The Karyopherin-β family of nuclear transport factors mediates the majority of nucleocytoplasmic transport. Although each of the 19 Karyopherin-βs transports unique sets of cargos, only three classes of nuclear localization and export signals, or NLSs and NESs, have been characterized. The short basic classical-NLS was first discovered in the 1980s and their karyopherin-bound structures were first reported more than 10 years ago. More recently, structural and biophysical studies of Karyopherin-β2-cargo complexes led to definition of the complex and diverse PY-NLS. Structural knowledge of the leucine-rich NES is finally available more than 10 years after the discovery of its recognition by the exportin CRM1. We review recent findings relating to how these three classes of nuclear targeting signals are recognized by their Karyopherin-β nuclear transport factors.
Project description:Transportin-1 (Trn1), also known as karyopherin-?2 (Kap?2), is probably the best-characterized nuclear import receptor of the karyopherin-? family after Importin-?, but certain aspects of its functions in cells are still puzzling or are just recently emerging. Since the initial identification of Trn1 as the nuclear import receptor of hnRNP A1 ?25 years ago, several molecular and structural studies have unveiled and refined our understanding of Trn1-mediated nuclear import. In particular, the understanding at a molecular level of the NLS recognition by Trn1 made a decisive step forward with the identification of a new class of NLSs called PY-NLSs, which constitute the best-characterized substrates of Trn1. Besides PY-NLSs, many Trn1 cargoes harbour NLSs that do not resemble the archetypical PY-NLS, which complicates the global understanding of cargo recognition by Trn1. Although PY-NLS recognition is well established and supported by several structures, the recognition of non-PY-NLSs by Trn1 is far less understood, but recent reports have started to shed light on the recognition of this type of NLSs. Aside from its principal and long-established activity as a nuclear import receptor, Trn1 was shown more recently to moonlight outside nuclear import. Trn1 has for instance been caught in participating in virus uncoating, ciliary transport and in modulating the phase separation properties of aggregation-prone proteins. Here, we focus on the structural and functional aspects of Trn1-mediated nuclear import, as well as on the moonlighting activities of Trn1.
Project description:Some viruses take advantage of conjugation of ubiquitin or ubiquitin-like proteins to enhance their own replication. One example is Ebola virus, which has evolved strategies to utilize these modification pathways to regulate the viral proteins VP40 and VP35 and to counteract the host defenses. Here, we show a novel mechanism by which Ebola virus exploits the ubiquitin and SUMO pathways. Our data reveal that minor matrix protein VP24 of Ebola virus is a bona fide SUMO target. Analysis of a SUMOylation-defective VP24 mutant revealed a reduced ability to block the type I interferon (IFN) pathway and to inhibit IFN-mediated STAT1 nuclear translocation, exhibiting a weaker interaction with karyopherin 5 and significantly diminished stability. Using glutathione S-transferase (GST) pulldown assay, we found that VP24 also interacts with SUMO in a noncovalent manner through a SIM domain. Mutation of the SIM domain in VP24 resulted in a complete inability of the protein to downmodulate the IFN pathway and in the monoubiquitination of the protein. We identified SUMO deubiquitinating enzyme ubiquitin-specific-processing protease 7 (USP7) as an interactor and a negative modulator of VP24 ubiquitination. Finally, we show that mutation of one ubiquitination site in VP24 potentiates the IFN modulatory activity of the viral protein and its ability to block IFN-mediated STAT1 nuclear translocation, pointing to the ubiquitination of VP24 as a negative modulator of the VP24 activity. Altogether, these results indicate that SUMO interacts with VP24 and promotes its USP7-mediated deubiquitination, playing a key role in the interference with the innate immune response mediated by the viral protein.IMPORTANCE The Ebola virus VP24 protein plays a critical role in escape of the virus from the host innate immune response. Therefore, deciphering the molecular mechanisms modulating VP24 activity may be useful to identify potential targets amenable to therapeutics. Here, we identify the cellular proteins USP7, SUMO, and ubiquitin as novel interactors and regulators of VP24. These interactions may represent novel potential targets to design new antivirals with the ability to modulate Ebola virus replication.
Project description:Satellite cells are stem cells with an essential role in skeletal muscle repair. Precise regulation of gene expression is critical for proper satellite cell quiescence, proliferation, differentiation and self-renewal. Nuclear proteins required for gene expression are dependent on the nucleocytoplasmic transport machinery to access to nucleus, however little is known about regulation of nuclear transport in satellite cells. The best characterized nuclear import pathway is classical nuclear import which depends on a classical nuclear localization signal (cNLS) in a cargo protein and the heterodimeric import receptors, karyopherin alpha (KPNA) and beta (KPNB). Multiple KPNA1 paralogs exist and can differ in importing specific cNLS proteins required for cell differentiation and function. We show that transcripts for six Kpna paralogs underwent distinct changes in mouse satellite cells during muscle regeneration accompanied by changes in cNLS proteins in nuclei. Depletion of KPNA1, the most dramatically altered KPNA, caused satellite cells in uninjured muscle to prematurely activate, proliferate and undergo apoptosis leading to satellite cell exhaustion with age. Increased proliferation of satellite cells led to enhanced muscle regeneration at early stages of regeneration. In addition, we observed impaired nuclear localization of two key KPNA1 cargo proteins: p27, a cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor associated with cell cycle control and lymphoid enhancer factor 1, a critical cotranscription factor for ?-catenin. These results indicate that regulated nuclear import of proteins by KPNA1 is critical for satellite cell proliferation and survival and establish classical nuclear import as a novel regulatory mechanism for controlling satellite cell fate. Stem Cells 2016;34:2784-2797.
Project description:Nuclear translocation of immune regulatory proteins and signal transducers is an essential process in animal and plant defense signaling against pathogenic microbes. Import of proteins containing a nuclear localization signal (NLS) into the nucleus is mediated by nuclear transport receptors termed importins, typically dimers of a cargo-binding ?-subunit and a ?-subunit that mediates translocation through the nuclear pore complex. Here, we review recent reports of importin-? cargo specificity and mutant phenotypes in plant- and animal-microbe interactions. Using homology modeling of the NLS-binding cleft of nine predicted Arabidopsis ?-importins and analyses of their gene expression patterns, we discuss functional redundancy and specialization within this transport receptor family. In addition, we consider how pathogen effector proteins that promote infection by manipulating host cell nuclear processes might compete with endogenous cargo proteins for nuclear uptake.
Project description:To study transport through the nuclear pore complex, we developed a computational simulation that is based on known structural elements rather than a particular transport model. Results agree with a variety of experimental data including size cutoff for cargo transport with (30-nm diameter) and without (< 10 nm) nuclear localization signals (NLS), macroscopic transport rates (hundreds per second), and single cargo transit times (milliseconds). The recently observed bimodal cargo distribution is predicted, as is the relative invariance of single cargo transit times out to large size (even as macroscopic transport rate decreases). Additional predictions concern the effects of the number of NLS tags, the RanGTP gradient, and phenylalanine-glycine nucleopore protein (FG-Nup) structure, flexibility, and cross-linking. Results are consistent with and elucidate the molecular mechanisms of some existing hypotheses (selective phase, virtual gate, and selective gate models). A model emerges that is a hybrid of a number of preexisting models as well as a Brownian ratchet model, in which a cargo-karyopherin complex remains bound to the same FG-Nups for its entire trajectory through the nuclear pore complex until RanGTP severs the cargo-Nup bonds to effect release into the nucleus.
Project description:Ebolaviruses have been known to cause deadly disease in humans for 40 years and have recently been demonstrated in West Africa to be able to cause large outbreaks. Four Ebolavirus species cause severe disease associated with high mortality in humans. Reston viruses are the only Ebolaviruses that do not cause disease in humans. Conserved amino acid changes in the Reston virus protein VP24 compared to VP24 of other Ebolaviruses have been suggested to alter VP24 binding to host cell karyopherins resulting in impaired inhibition of interferon signalling, which may explain the difference in human pathogenicity. Here we used protein structural analysis and molecular dynamics to further elucidate the interaction between VP24 and KPNA5.As a control experiment, we compared the interaction of wild-type and R137A-mutant (known to affect KPNA5 binding) Ebola virus VP24 with KPNA5. Results confirmed that the R137A mutation weakens direct VP24-KPNA5 binding and enables water molecules to penetrate at the interface. Similarly, Reston virus VP24 displayed a weaker interaction with KPNA5 than Ebola virus VP24, which is likely to reduce the ability of Reston virus VP24 to prevent host cell interferon signalling.Our results provide novel molecular detail on the interaction of Reston virus VP24 and Ebola virus VP24 with human KPNA5. The results indicate a weaker interaction of Reston virus VP24 with KPNA5 than Ebola virus VP24, which is probably associated with a decreased ability to interfere with the host cell interferon response. Hence, our study provides further evidence that VP24 is a key player in determining Ebolavirus pathogenicity.