An unbiased proteomics approach to identify human cytomegalovirus RNA-associated proteins.
ABSTRACT: Post-transcriptional events regulate herpesvirus gene expression, yet few herpesvirus RNA-binding proteins have been identified. We used an unbiased approach coupling oligo(dT) affinity capture with proteomics to identify viral RNA-associated proteins during infection. Using this approach, we identified and confirmed changes in the abundance or activity of two host RNA-associated proteins, DHX9 and DDX3, in cells infected with human cytomegalovirus (HCMV). We also identified and confirmed previously unreported activities for the HCMV US22 and pp71 proteins as RNA-associated viral proteins and confirmed that a known viral RNA-binding protein, pTRS1, associates with RNA in infected cells. Further, we found that HCMV pp71 co-sedimented with polysomes, associated with host and viral RNAs, and stimulated the overall rate of protein synthesis. These results demonstrate that oligo(dT) affinity capture coupled with proteomics provides a rapid and straightforward means to identify RNA-associated viral proteins during infection that may participate in the post-transcriptional control of gene expression.
Project description:Viruses rely on the host translation machinery for the synthesis of viral proteins. Human cells have evolved sensors that recognize viral RNAs and inhibit mRNA translation in order to limit virus replication. Understanding how viruses manipulate the host translation machinery to gain access to ribosomes and disable the antiviral response is therefore a critical aspect of the host/pathogen interface. In this study, we used a proteomics approach to identify human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) proteins that might contribute to viral mRNA translation. The HCMV TRS1 protein (pTRS1) associated with the 7-methylguanosine mRNA cap, increased the total level of protein synthesis, and colocalized with mRNAs undergoing translation initiation during infection. pTRS1 stimulated translation of a nonviral reporter gene and increased the translation of a reporter containing an HCMV 5' untranslated region (5'UTR) to a greater extent. The preferential effect of pTRS1 on translation of an mRNA containing a viral 5'UTR required the pTRS1 RNA and double-stranded RNA-dependent protein kinase (PKR)-binding domains, and was likely the result of PKR inhibition. However, pTRS1 also stimulated the total level of protein synthesis and translation directed by an HCMV 5'UTR in cells lacking PKR. Thus our results demonstrate that pTRS1 stimulates translation through both PKR-dependent and PKR-independent mechanisms.
Project description:Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) counteracts host defenses that otherwise act to limit viral protein synthesis. One such defense is the antiviral kinase protein kinase R (PKR), which inactivates the eukaryotic initiation factor 2 (eIF2) translation initiation factor upon binding to viral double-stranded RNAs. Previously, the viral TRS1 and IRS1 proteins were found to antagonize the antiviral kinase PKR outside the context of HCMV infection, and the expression of either pTRS1 or pIRS1 was shown to be necessary for HCMV replication. In this study, we found that expression of either pTRS1 or pIRS1 is necessary to prevent PKR activation during HCMV infection and that antagonism of PKR is critical for efficient viral replication. Consistent with a previous study, we observed decreased overall levels of protein synthesis, reduced viral protein expression, and diminished virus replication in the absence of both pTRS1 and pIRS1. In addition, both PKR and eIF2? were phosphorylated during infection when pTRS1 and pIRS1 were absent. We also found that expression of pTRS1 was both necessary and sufficient to prevent stress granule formation in response to eIF2? phosphorylation. Depletion of PKR prevented eIF2? phosphorylation, rescued HCMV replication and protein synthesis, and reversed the accumulation of stress granules in infected cells. Infection with an HCMV mutant lacking the pTRS1 PKR binding domain resulted in PKR activation, suggesting that pTRS1 inhibits PKR through a direct interaction. Together our results show that antagonism of PKR by HCMV pTRS1 and pIRS1 is critical for viral protein expression and efficient HCMV replication.To successfully replicate, viruses must counteract host defenses that limit viral protein synthesis. We have identified inhibition of the antiviral kinase PKR by the viral proteins TRS1 and IRS1 and shown that this is a critical step in HCMV replication. Our results suggest that inhibiting pTRS1 and pIRS1 function or restoring PKR activity during infection may be a successful strategy to limit HCMV disease.
Project description:Herpesvirus late promoters activate gene expression after viral DNA synthesis has begun. Alphaherpesviruses utilize a viral immediate-early protein to do this, whereas beta- and gammaherpesviruses primarily use a 6-member set of viral late-acting transcription factors (LTF) that are drawn to a TATT sequence in the late promoter. The betaherpesvirus, human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), produces three immediate-early 2 protein isoforms, IE2-86, IE2-60, IE2-40, late in infection, but whether they activate late viral promoters is unknown. Here, we quickly degrade the IE2 proteins in late infection using dTag methodology and analyze effects on transcription using customized PRO-Seq and computational methods combined with multiple validation methods. We discover that the IE2 proteins selectively drive RNA Pol II transcription initiation at a subset of viral early-late and late promoters common to different HCMV strains, but do not substantially affect Pol II transcription of the 9,942 expressed host genes. Most of the IE2-activated viral late infection promoters lack the TATT sequence bound by the HCMV UL87-encoded LTF. The HCMV TATT-binding protein is not mechanistically involved in late RNA expression from the IE2-activated TATT-less UL83 (pp65) promoter, as it is for the TATT-containing UL82 (pp71) promoter. While antecedent viral DNA synthesis is necessary for transcription from the late infection viral promoters, continued viral DNA synthesis is unnecessary. We conclude that in late infection the IE2 proteins target a distinct subset of HCMV early-late and late promoters for transcription initiation by RNA Pol II. Commencement of viral DNA replication renders the HCMV genome late promoters susceptible to late-acting viral transcription factors.
Project description:Double-stranded RNAs (dsRNA) produced during human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection activate the antiviral kinase protein kinase R (PKR), which potently inhibits virus replication. The HCMV pTRS1 and pIRS1 proteins antagonize PKR to promote HCMV protein synthesis and replication; however, the mechanism by which pTRS1 inhibits PKR is unclear. PKR activation occurs in a three-step cascade. First, binding to dsRNA triggers PKR homodimerizaton. PKR dimers then autophosphorylate, leading to a conformational shift that exposes the binding site for the PKR substrate eIF2?. Consistent with previous in vitro studies, we found that pTRS1 bound and inhibited PKR. pTRS1 binding to PKR was not mediated by an RNA intermediate, and mutations in the pTRS1 RNA binding domain did not affect PKR binding or inhibition. Rather, mutations that disrupted the pTRS1 interaction with PKR ablated the ability of pTRS1 to antagonize PKR activation by dsRNA. pTRS1 did not block PKR dimerization and could bind and inhibit a constitutively dimerized PKR kinase domain. In addition, pTRS1 binding to PKR inhibited PKR kinase activity. Single amino acid point mutations in the conserved eIF2? binding domain of PKR disrupted pTRS1 binding and rendered PKR resistant to inhibition by pTRS1. Consistent with a critical role for the conserved eIF2? contact site in PKR binding, pTRS1 bound an additional eIF2? kinase, heme-regulated inhibitor (HRI), and inhibited eIF2? phosphorylation in response to an HRI agonist. Together our data suggest that pTRS1 inhibits PKR by binding to conserved amino acids in the PKR eIF2? binding site and blocking PKR kinase activity.IMPORTANCE The antiviral kinase PKR plays a critical role in controlling HCMV replication. This study furthered our understanding of how HCMV evades inhibition by PKR and identified new strategies for how PKR activity might be restored during infection to limit HCMV disease.
Project description:Proteins that participate in a diverse array of cellular processes can be modified covalently and reversibly on lysine residues by the small ubiquitin-like modifier proteins termed SUMOs. In some instances, such modification profoundly affects protein function, but the biological significance of many SUMOylation events remains unknown. Protein SUMOylation is modulated during many viral infections. Here we demonstrate that the human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) pp71 protein promotes the SUMOylation of its cellular substrate, Daxx. A component of promyelocytic leukemia nuclear bodies, Daxx is a transcriptional corepressor that silences the expression of viral immediate-early (IE) genes at the start of both lytic and quiescent HCMV infections. pp71 is a tegument component delivered directly to cells by infecting HCMV virions. At the start of lytic infections, it travels to the nucleus and stimulates viral IE gene expression by displacing the chromatin remodeling protein ATRX from Daxx and by mediating Daxx degradation through a rare ubiquitin-independent, proteasome-dependent process. Here we report that pp71 also substantially increases the basal level of SUMOylated Daxx observed in cells. To date, consequences of Daxx SUMOylation have not been observed for cellular promoters, and we detected no qualitative change in viral IE gene expression in the absence of pp71-induced Daxx SUMOylation. Thus, while pp71 enhances the basal level of SUMOylated Daxx, the role that this modification plays in regulating Daxx activity in uninfected or HCMV-infected cells remains an enigma.
Project description:Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a highly malignant primary central nervous system neoplasm characterized by tumor cell invasion, robust angiogenesis, and a mean survival of 15 months. Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection is present in >90% of GBMs, although the role the virus plays in GBM pathogenesis is unclear. We report here that HCMV pp71, a viral protein previously shown to promote cell cycle progression, is present in a majority of human GBMs and is preferentially expressed in the CD133+, cancer stem-like cell population. Overexpression of pp71 in adult neural precursor cells resulted in potent induction of stem cell factor (SCF), an important pro-angiogenic factor in GBM. Using double immunofluorescence, we demonstrate in situ co-localization of pp71 and SCF in clinical GBM specimens. pp71 overexpression in both normal and transformed glial cells increased SCF secretion and this effect was specific, since siRNA mediated knockdown of pp71 or treatment with the antiviral drug cidofovir resulted in decreased expression and secretion of SCF by HCMV-infected cells. pp71- induced upregulation of SCF resulted in downstream activation of its putative endothelial cell receptor, c-kit, and angiogenesis as measured by increased capillary tube formation in vitro. We demonstrate that pp71 induces a pro-inflammatory response via activation of NF?B signaling which drives SCF expression. Furthermore, we show that pp71 levels and NFKB activation are selectively augmented in the mesenchymal subtype of human GBMs, characterized by worst patient outcome, suggesting that HCMV pp71-induced paracrine signaling may contribute to the aggressive phenotype of this human malignancy.
Project description:Viral infections often produce double-stranded RNA (dsRNA), which in turn triggers potent antiviral responses, including the global repression of protein synthesis mediated by protein kinase R (PKR) and 2'-5' oligoadenylate synthetase (OAS). As a consequence, many viruses have evolved genes, such as those encoding dsRNA-binding proteins, which counteract these pathways. Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) encodes two related proteins, pTRS1 and pIRS1, which bind dsRNA and can prevent activation of the PKR and OAS pathways. HCMV mutants lacking either IRS1 or TRS1 replicate at least moderately well in cell culture. However, as we demonstrate in the present study, an HCMV mutant lacking both IRS1 and TRS1 (HCMV[DeltaI/DeltaT]) has a severe replication defect. Infection with HCMV[DeltaI/DeltaT] results in a profound inhibition of overall and viral protein synthesis, as well as increased phosphorylation of eukaryotic initiation factor 2alpha (eIF2alpha). The vaccinia virus E3L gene can substitute for IRS1 or TRS1, enabling HCMV replication. Despite the accumulation of dsRNA in HCMV-infected cells, the OAS pathway remains inactive, even in HCMV[DeltaI/DeltaT]-infected cells. These results suggest that PKR-mediated phosphorylation of eIF2alpha is the dominant dsRNA-activated pathway responsible for inhibition of protein synthesis and HCMV replication in the absence of both IRS1 and TRS1 and that the requirement for evasion of the PKR pathway likely explains the necessity for IRS1 or TRS1 for productive infection.
Project description:The human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) TRS1 and IRS1 genes rescue replication of vaccinia virus (VV) that has a deletion of the double-stranded RNA binding protein gene E3L (VVDeltaE3L). Like E3L, these HCMV genes block the activation of key interferon-induced, double-stranded RNA (dsRNA)-activated antiviral pathways. We investigated the hypothesis that the products of these HCMV genes act by binding to dsRNA. pTRS1 expressed by cell-free translation or by infection of mammalian cells with HCMV or recombinant VV bound to dsRNA. Competition experiments revealed that pTRS1 preferentially bound to dsRNA compared to double-stranded DNA or single-stranded RNA. 5'- and 3'-end deletion analyses mapped the TRS1 dsRNA-binding domain to amino acids 74 through 248, a region of identity to pIRS1 that contains no homology to known dsRNA-binding proteins. Deletion of the majority of this region (Delta86-246) completely abrogated dsRNA binding. To determine the role of the dsRNA-binding domain in the rescue of VVDeltaE3L replication, wild-type or deletion mutants of TRS1 were transfected into HeLa cells, which were then infected with VVDeltaE3L. While full-length TRS1 rescued VVDeltaE3L replication, deletion mutants affecting a carboxy-terminal region of TRS1 that is not required for dsRNA binding failed to rescue VVDeltaE3L. Analyses of stable cell lines revealed that the carboxy-terminal domain is necessary to prevent the shutoff of protein synthesis and the phosphorylation of eIF2alpha after VVDeltaE3L infection. Thus, pTRS1 contains an unconventional dsRNA-binding domain at its amino terminus, but a second function involving the carboxy terminus is also required for countering host cell antiviral responses.
Project description:Herpesvirus late promoters activate gene expression after viral DNA synthesis has begun. Alphaherpesviruses utilize a viral immediate-early protein to do this, whereas beta- and gammaherpesviruses primarily use a 6-member set of viral late-acting transcription factors (LTF) that are drawn to a TATT sequence in the late promoter. The betaherpesvirus, human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), produces three immediate-early 2 protein isoforms, IE2-86, IE2-60, IE2-40, in late infection, but whether they activate late viral promoters is unknown. Here, we quickly degrade the IE2 proteins in late infection and analyze effects on transcription using customized PRO-Seq and computational methods combined with multiple validation methods. We discover that the IE2 proteins selectively drive RNA Pol II transcription initiation at a subset of viral early-late and late promoters common to different HCMV strains, but do not substantially affect Pol II transcription of the 9,942 expressed host genes. Most of the IE2-activated viral late infection promoters lack the TATT sequence bound by the HCMV UL87-encoded LTF. The HCMV TATT-binding protein is not mechanistically involved in late RNA expression from the IE2-activated TATT-less UL83 (pp65) promoter, as it is for the TATT-containing UL82 (pp71) promoter. While antecedent viral DNA synthesis is necessary for transcription from the late infection viral promoters, continued viral DNA synthesis is unnecessary. We conclude that the IE2 proteins target a distinct subset of late infection HCMV promoters for transcription initiation by RNA Pol II. Commencement of viral DNA replication renders the HCMV genome late promoters susceptible to late-acting viral transcription factors, which do not appreciably affect host transcription during this late time. Overall design: In this study, we assessed the effects of IE2 depletion late in HCMV infection. We analyzed 19 PRO-Seq datasets from HFF that were infected with HCMV strains Towne or TB40. We show that the effects of IE2 depletion on viral gene transcription are reproduced in the context of infection with different HCMV strains. Replicate analyses of the effects of IE2 depletion in the context fo TB40 infection were performed. This series includes re-analysis of GSM3104912, an uninfected HFF PRO-seq sample. The re-analyzed processed data .bw files are available at the foot of this record.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) is a betaherpesvirus that causes severe disease in situations where the immune system is immature or compromised. HCMV immediate early (IE) gene expression is stimulated by the virion phosphoprotein pp71, encoded by open reading frame (ORF) UL82, and this transactivation activity is important for the efficient initiation of viral replication. It is currently recognized that pp71 acts to overcome cellular intrinsic defences that otherwise block viral IE gene expression, and that interactions of pp71 with the cell proteins Daxx and ATRX are important for this function. A further property of pp71 is the ability to enable prolonged gene expression from quiescent herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) genomes. Non-human primate cytomegaloviruses encode homologs of pp71, but there is currently no published information that addresses their effects on gene expression and modes of action. RESULTS: The UL82 homolog encoded by simian cytomegalovirus (SCMV), strain Colburn, was identified and cloned. This ORF, named S82, was cloned into an HSV-1 vector, as were those from baboon, rhesus monkey and chimpanzee cytomegaloviruses. The use of an HSV-1 vector enabled expression of the UL82 homologs in a range of cell types, and permitted investigation of their abilities to direct prolonged gene expression from quiescent genomes. The results show that all UL82 homologs activate gene expression, and that neither host cell type nor promoter target sequence has major effects on these activities. Surprisingly, the UL82 proteins specified by non-human primate cytomegaloviruses, unlike pp71, did not direct long term expression from quiescent HSV-1 genomes. In addition, significant differences were observed in the intranuclear localization of the UL82 homologs, and in their effects on Daxx. Strikingly, S82 mediated the release of Daxx from nuclear domain 10 substructures much more rapidly than pp71 or the other proteins tested. All UL82 homologs stimulated the early release of ATRX from nuclear domain 10. CONCLUSION: All of the UL82 homolog proteins analysed activated gene expression, but surprising differences in other aspects of their properties were revealed. The results provide new information on early events in infection with cytomegaloviruses.