Vaccinia Virus Ankyrin-Repeat/F-Box Protein Targets Interferon-Induced IFITs for Proteasomal Degradation.
ABSTRACT: IFITs are interferon-induced proteins that can bind 5'-triphosphate or ribose-unmethylated capped ends of mRNA to inhibit translation. Although some viruses avoid IFITs by synthesizing RNAs with eukaryotic-like caps, no viral proteins were known to antagonize IFITs. We show that the N- and C-terminal portions of C9, a protein required for vaccinia virus to resist the human type I interferon-induced state, bind IFITs and ubiquitin regulatory complexes, respectively. Together, the two C9 domains target IFITs for proteasomal degradation, thereby providing interferon resistance similar to that also achieved by knockout of IFITs. Furthermore, ectopic expression of C9 rescues the interferon sensitivity of a vaccinia virus mutant with an inactivated cap 1-specific ribose-methyltransferase that is otherwise unable to express early proteins. In contrast, the C9-deletion mutant expresses early proteins but is blocked by IFITs at the subsequent genome uncoating/replication step. Thus, poxviruses use mRNA cap methylation and proteosomal degradation to defeat multiple antiviral activities of IFITs.
Project description:Ribosomal recruitment of cellular mRNAs depends on binding of eIF4F to the mRNA's 5'-terminal 'cap'. The minimal 'cap0' consists of N7-methylguanosine linked to the first nucleotide via a 5'-5' triphosphate (ppp) bridge. Cap0 is further modified by 2'-O-methylation of the next two riboses, yielding 'cap1' (m7GpppNmN) and 'cap2' (m7GpppNmNm). However, some viral RNAs lack 2'-O-methylation, whereas others contain only ppp- at their 5'-end. Interferon-induced proteins with tetratricopeptide repeats (IFITs) are highly expressed effectors of innate immunity that inhibit viral replication by incompletely understood mechanisms. Here, we investigated the ability of IFIT family members to interact with cap1-, cap0- and 5'ppp- mRNAs and inhibit their translation. IFIT1 and IFIT1B showed very high affinity to cap-proximal regions of cap0-mRNAs (K1/2,app ?9 to 23 nM). The 2'-O-methylation abrogated IFIT1/mRNA interaction, whereas IFIT1B retained the ability to bind cap1-mRNA, albeit with reduced affinity (K1/2,app ?450 nM). The 5'-terminal regions of 5'ppp-mRNAs were recognized by IFIT5 (K1/2,app ?400 nM). The activity of individual IFITs in inhibiting initiation on a specific mRNA was determined by their ability to interact with its 5'-terminal region: IFIT1 and IFIT1B efficiently outcompeted eIF4F and abrogated initiation on cap0-mRNAs, whereas inhibition on cap1- and 5'ppp- mRNAs by IFIT1B and IFIT5 was weaker and required higher protein concentrations.
Project description:The E3L gene is essential for pathogenesis in vaccinia virus. The E3L gene product consists of an N-terminal Z alpha domain and a C-terminal double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) binding domain; the left-handed Z-DNA-binding activity of the Z alpha domain of E3L is required for viral pathogenicity in mice. E3L is highly conserved among poxviruses, including the smallpox virus, and it is likely that the orthologous Z alpha domains play similar roles. To better understand the biological function of E3L proteins, we have investigated the Z-DNA-binding behavior of five representative Z alpha domains from poxviruses. Using surface plasmon resonance (SPR), we have demonstrated that these viral Z alpha domains bind Z-DNA tightly. Ability of Z alpha(E3L) converting B-DNA to Z-DNA was measured by circular dichroism (CD). The extents to which these Z alphas can stabilize Z-DNA vary considerably. Mutational studies demonstrate that residues in the loop of the beta-wing play an important role in this stabilization. Notably the Z alpha domain of vaccinia E3L acquires ability to convert B-DNA to Z-DNA by mutating amino acid residues in this region. Differences in the host cells of the various poxviruses may require different abilities to stabilize Z-DNA; this may be reflected in the observed differences in behavior in these Zalpha proteins.
Project description:Interferon-induced proteins with tetratricopeptide repeats (IFITs) are involved in the protective response to viral infection, although the precise mechanism of IFITs for reducing viral proliferation is currently unknown. The interaction with the translation initiation factor eIF-3 or viral proteins and the sequestering of viral RNA have been proposed as potential antiviral functions for these proteins. In humans, four members of this family have been characterized. Nevertheless, information about these proteins in fish is almost non-existent. Exploiting the conservation of synteny between human and zebrafish genomes, we have identified ten members of the IFIT family located on four different chromosomes. The induction of these genes was examined both in vitro and in vivo after interferon (IFN) administration and rhabdovirus challenge. Whereas an induction of IFIT genes was observed after interferon treatments (IFN?1, IFN?2 and IFN?3), the viral infection did not affect these IFN-induced genes in vitro, and even reduced the IFN-induced expression of these genes. The response was largely different in vivo, with a broad up-regulation of IFIT genes after viral challenge. In addition, three selected IFITs were cloned in an expression vector and microinjected into zebrafish larvae to examine the protective effect of IFITs upon viral infection. Reduction in the mortality rate was observed confirming a conserved antiviral function in non-mammalian species.
Project description:In kinetoplastids spliced leader (SL) RNA is trans-spliced onto the 5' ends of all nuclear mRNAs, providing a universal exon with a unique cap. Mature SL contains an m(7)G cap, ribose 2'-O methylations on the first four nucleotides, and base methylations on nucleotides 1 and 4 (AACU). This structure is referred to as cap 4. Mutagenized SL RNAs that exhibit reduced cap 4 are trans-spliced, but these mRNAs do not associate with polysomes, suggesting a direct role in translation for cap 4, the primary SL sequence, or both. To separate SL RNA sequence alterations from cap 4 maturation, we have examined two ribose 2'-O-methyltransferases in Trypanosoma brucei. Both enzymes fall into the Rossmann fold class of methyltransferases and model into a conserved structure based on vaccinia virus homolog VP39. Knockdown of the methyltransferases individually or in combination did not affect growth rates and suggests a temporal placement in the cap 4 formation cascade: TbMT417 modifies A(2) and is not required for subsequent steps; TbMT511 methylates C(3), without which U(4) methylations are reduced. Incomplete cap 4 maturation was reflected in substrate SL and mRNA populations. Recombinant methyltransferases bind to a methyl donor and show preference for m(7)G-capped RNAs in vitro. Both enzymes reside in the nucleoplasm. Based on the cap phenotype of substrate SL stranded in the cytosol, A(2), C(3), and U(4) methylations are added after nuclear reimport of Sm protein-complexed substrate SL RNA. As mature cap 4 is dispensable for translation, cap 1 modifications and/or SL sequences are implicated in ribosomal interaction.
Project description:Host restriction factors constitute a formidable barrier for viral replication to which many viruses have evolved counter-measures. Human SAMD9, a tumor suppressor and a restriction factor for poxviruses in cell lines, is antagonized by two classes of poxvirus proteins, represented by vaccinia virus (VACV) K1 and C7. A paralog of SAMD9, SAMD9L, is also encoded by some mammals, while only one of two paralogs is retained by others. Here, we show that SAMD9L functions similarly to SAMD9 as a restriction factor and that the two paralogs form a critical host barrier that poxviruses must overcome to establish infection. In mice, which naturally lack SAMD9, overcoming SAMD9L restriction with viral inhibitors is essential for poxvirus replication and pathogenesis. While a VACV deleted of both K1 and C7 (vK1L-C7L-) was restricted by mouse cells and highly attenuated in mice, its replication and virulence were completely restored in SAMD9L-/- mice. In humans, both SAMD9 and SAMD9L are poxvirus restriction factors, although the latter requires interferon induction in many cell types. While knockout of SAMD9 with Crispr-Cas9 was sufficient for abolishing the restriction for vK1L-C7L- in many human cells, knockout of both paralogs was required for abolishing the restriction in interferon-treated cells. Both paralogs are antagonized by VACV K1, C7 and C7 homologs from diverse mammalian poxviruses, but mouse SAMD9L is resistant to the C7 homolog encoded by a group of poxviruses with a narrow host range in ruminants, indicating that host species-specific difference in SAMD9/SAMD9L genes serves as a barrier for cross-species poxvirus transmission.
Project description:The spliced-leader (SL) RNA plays a key role in the biogenesis of mRNA in trypanosomes by providing the m(7)G-capped SL sequence to the 5' end of every mRNA. The cap structure of the SL RNA is unique in eukaryotes with 4 nucleotides after the cap carrying a total of seven methyl groups and by convention is referred to as "cap 4". Although the enzymatic machinery for cap addition has been characterized in several organisms, including Trypanosoma brucei, the identification of methyltransferases dedicated to the generation of higher order cap structures has lagged behind, except in viruses. Here we describe T. brucei MT57 (TbMT57), a primarily nuclear polypeptide with structural and functional similarities to vaccinia virus VP39, a bifunctional protein acting at the mRNA 5' end as a cap-specific 2'-O-methyltransferase. Down-regulation by RNAi or genetic ablation of TbMT57 resulted in the accumulation of SL RNA missing 2'-O-methyl groups at positions +3 and +4 and thus bearing a cap 2 rather than a cap 4. Furthermore, competitive binding studies indicated that modifications at the +3 and +4 positions are important for binding to the nuclear cap-binding complex. Genetic ablation of MT57 resulted in viable cells with no apparent defect in SL RNA trans-splicing, suggesting that MT57 is not essential or that trypanosomes have developed alternate mechanisms to counteract the absence of this protein. Interestingly, MT57 homologs are only found in trypanosomatid protozoa that have a cap 4 structure and in poxviruses, of which vaccinia virus is a prototype.
Project description:Interferon-induced proteins with tetratricopeptide repeats (IFITs) are a family of proteins, which are strongly induced downstream of type I interferon signaling. The molecular mechanism of IFIT anti-viral activity has been studied in some detail, including the recently discovered direct binding of viral nucleic acid, the binding to viral and host proteins, and the possible involvement in anti-viral immune signal propagation. The unique structures of some members of the IFIT family have been solved to reveal an internal pocket for non-sequence-specific, but conformation- and modification-specific, nucleic acid binding. This review will focus on recent discoveries, which link IFITs to the anti-viral response, intrinsic to the innate immune system.
Project description:The poly(A) leader at the 5'-untranslated region (5'-UTR) is an unusually striking feature of all poxvirus mRNAs transcribed after viral DNA replication (post-replicative mRNAs). These poly(A) leaders are non-templated and of heterogeneous lengths; and their function during poxvirus infection remains a long-standing question. Here, we discovered that a 5'-poly(A) leader conferred a selective translational advantage to mRNA in poxvirus-infected cells. A constitutive and uninterrupted 5'-poly(A) leader with 12 residues was optimal. Because the most frequent lengths of the 5'-poly(A) leaders are 8-12 residues, the result suggests that the poly(A) leader has been evolutionarily optimized to boost poxvirus protein production. A 5'-poly(A) leader also could increase protein production in the bacteriophage T7 promoter-based expression system of vaccinia virus, the prototypic member of poxviruses. Interestingly, although vaccinia virus post-replicative mRNAs do have 5'- methylated guanosine caps and can use cap-dependent translation, in vaccinia virus-infected cells, mRNA with a 5'-poly(A) leader could also be efficiently translated in cells with impaired cap-dependent translation. However, the translation was not mediated through an internal ribosome entry site (IRES). These results point to a fundamental mechanism poxvirus uses to efficiently translate its post-replicative mRNAs.
Project description:Interferon (IFN) responses play key roles in cellular defense against pathogens. Highly expressed IFN-induced proteins with tetratricopeptide repeats (IFITs) are proposed to function as RNA binding proteins, but the RNA binding and discrimination specificities of IFIT proteins remain unclear. Here we show that human IFIT5 has comparable affinity for RNAs with diverse phosphate-containing 5'-ends, excluding the higher eukaryotic mRNA cap. Systematic mutagenesis revealed that sequence substitutions in IFIT5 can alternatively expand or introduce bias in protein binding to RNAs with 5' monophosphate, triphosphate, cap0 (triphosphate-bridged N7-methylguanosine), or cap1 (cap0 with RNA 2'-O-methylation). We defined the breadth of cellular ligands for IFIT5 by using a thermostable group II intron reverse transcriptase for RNA sequencing. We show that IFIT5 binds precursor and processed tRNAs, as well as other RNA polymerase III transcripts. Our findings establish the RNA recognition specificity of the human innate immune response protein IFIT5.
Project description:Some RNA virus genomes bear 5'-triphosphates, which can be recognized in the cytoplasm of infected cells by host proteins that mediate anti-viral immunity. Both the innate sensor RIG-I and the interferon-induced IFIT proteins bind to 5'-triphosphate viral RNAs. RIG-I signals for induction of interferons during RNA virus infection while IFITs sequester viral RNAs to exert an anti-viral effect. Notably, the structures of these proteins reveal both similarities and differences, which are suggestive of independent evolution towards ligand binding. 5'-triphosphates, which are absent from most RNAs in the cytosol of uninfected cells, are thus a marker of virus infection that is targeted by the innate immune system for both induction and execution of the anti-viral response.