Evolution of a major virion protein of the giant pandoraviruses from an inactivated bacterial glycoside hydrolase.
ABSTRACT: The diverse viruses in the phylum Nucleocytoviricota (also known as NLCDVs, Nucleo-cytoplasmic Large DNA Viruses) typically possess large icosahedral virions. However, in several families of Nucleocytoviricota, the icosahedral capsid was replaced by irregular particle shapes, most notably, the amphora-like virions of pandoraviruses and pithoviruses, the largest known virus particles in the entire virosphere. Pandoraviruses appear to be the most highly derived viruses in this phylum because their evolution involved not only the change in the virion shape, but also, the actual loss of the gene encoding double-jelly roll major capsid protein (DJR MCP), the main building block of icosahedral capsids in this virus assemblage. Instead, pandoravirus virions are built of unrelated abundant proteins. Here we show that the second most abundant virion protein of pandoraviruses, major virion protein 2 (MVP2), evolved from an inactivated derivative of a bacterial glycoside hydrolase of the GH16 family. The ancestral form of MVP2 was apparently acquired early in the evolution of the Nucleocytoviricota, to become a minor virion protein. After a duplication in the common ancestor of pandoraviruses and molliviruses, one of the paralogs displaces DJR MCP in pandoraviruses, conceivably, opening the way for a major increase in the size of the virion and the genome. Exaptation of a carbohydrate-binding protein for the function of the MVP is a general trend in virus evolution and might underlie the transformation of the virion shape in other groups of the Nucleocytoviricota as well.
Project description:Virophages have the unique property of parasitizing giant viruses within unicellular hosts. Little is understood about how they form infectious virions in this tripartite interplay. We provide mechanistic insights into assembly and maturation of mavirus, a marine virophage, by combining structural and stability studies on capsomers, virus-like particles (VLPs), and native virions. We found that the mavirus protease processes the double jelly-roll (DJR) major capsid protein (MCP) at multiple C-terminal sites and that these sites are conserved among virophages. Mavirus MCP assembled in Escherichia coli in the absence and presence of penton protein, forming VLPs with defined size and shape. While quantifying VLPs in E. coli lysates, we found that full-length rather than processed MCP is the competent state for capsid assembly. Full-length MCP was thermally more labile than truncated MCP, and crystal structures of both states indicate that full-length MCP has an expanded DJR core. Thus, we propose that the MCP C-terminal domain serves as a scaffolding domain by adding strain on MCP to confer assembly competence. Mavirus protease processed MCP more efficiently after capsid assembly, which provides a regulation mechanism for timing capsid maturation. By analogy to Sputnik and adenovirus, we propose that MCP processing renders mavirus particles infection competent by loosening interactions between genome and capsid shell and destabilizing pentons for genome release into host cells. The high structural similarity of mavirus and Sputnik capsid proteins together with conservation of protease and MCP processing suggest that assembly and maturation mechanisms described here are universal for virophages.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Analysis of metagenomic sequences has become the principal approach for the study of the diversity of viruses. Many recent, extensive metagenomic studies on several classes of viruses have dramatically expanded the visible part of the virosphere, showing that previously undetected viruses, or those that have been considered rare, actually are important components of the global virome. RESULTS:We investigated the provenance of viruses related to tail-less bacteriophages of the family Tectiviridae by searching genomic and metagenomics sequence databases for distant homologs of the tectivirus-like Double Jelly-Roll major capsid proteins (DJR MCP). These searches resulted in the identification of numerous genomes of virus-like elements that are similar in size to tectiviruses (10-15 kilobases) and have diverse gene compositions. By comparison of the gene repertoires, the DJR MCP-encoding genomes were classified into 6 distinct groups that can be predicted to differ in reproduction strategies and host ranges. Only the DJR MCP gene that is present by design is shared by all these genomes, and most also encode a predicted DNA-packaging ATPase; the rest of the genes are present only in subgroups of this unexpectedly diverse collection of DJR MCP-encoding genomes. Only a minority encode a DNA polymerase which is a hallmark of the family Tectiviridae and the putative family "Autolykiviridae". Notably, one of the identified putative DJR MCP viruses encodes a homolog of Cas1 endonuclease, the integrase involved in CRISPR-Cas adaptation and integration of transposon-like elements called casposons. This is the first detected occurrence of Cas1 in a virus. Many of the identified elements are individual contigs flanked by inverted or direct repeats and appear to represent complete, extrachromosomal viral genomes, whereas others are flanked by bacterial genes and thus can be considered as proviruses. These contigs come from metagenomes of widely different environments, some dominated by archaea and others by bacteria, suggesting that collectively, the DJR MCP-encoding elements have a broad host range among prokaryotes. CONCLUSIONS:The findings reported here greatly expand the known host range of (putative) viruses of bacteria and archaea that encode a DJR MCP. They also demonstrate the extreme diversity of genome architectures in these viruses that encode no universal proteins other than the capsid protein that was used as the marker for their identification. From a supposedly minor group of bacterial and archaeal viruses, these viruses are emerging as a substantial component of the prokaryotic virome.
Project description:The largest known DNA viruses infect Acanthamoeba and belong to two markedly different families. The Megaviridae exhibit pseudo-icosahedral virions up to 0.7 μm in diameter and adenine-thymine (AT)-rich genomes of up to 1.25 Mb encoding a thousand proteins. Like their Mimivirus prototype discovered 10 y ago, they entirely replicate within cytoplasmic virion factories. In contrast, the recently discovered Pandoraviruses exhibit larger amphora-shaped virions 1 μm in length and guanine-cytosine-rich genomes up to 2.8 Mb long encoding up to 2,500 proteins. Their replication involves the host nucleus. Whereas the Megaviridae share some general features with the previously described icosahedral large DNA viruses, the Pandoraviruses appear unrelated to them. Here we report the discovery of a third type of giant virus combining an even larger pandoravirus-like particle 1.5 μm in length with a surprisingly smaller 600 kb AT-rich genome, a gene content more similar to Iridoviruses and Marseillevirus, and a fully cytoplasmic replication reminiscent of the Megaviridae. This suggests that pandoravirus-like particles may be associated with a variety of virus families more diverse than previously envisioned. This giant virus, named Pithovirus sibericum, was isolated from a >30,000-y-old radiocarbon-dated sample when we initiated a survey of the virome of Siberian permafrost. The revival of such an ancestral amoeba-infecting virus used as a safe indicator of the possible presence of pathogenic DNA viruses, suggests that the thawing of permafrost either from global warming or industrial exploitation of circumpolar regions might not be exempt from future threats to human or animal health.
Project description:Infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV), a nonenveloped, double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) virus with a T=13 icosahedral capsid, has a virion assembly strategy that initiates with a precursor particle based on an internal scaffold shell similar to that of tailed double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) viruses. In IBDV-infected cells, the assembly pathway results mainly in mature virions that package four dsRNA segments, although minor viral populations ranging from zero to three dsRNA segments also form. We used cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), cryo-electron tomography, and atomic force microscopy to characterize these IBDV populations. The VP3 protein was found to act as a scaffold protein by building an irregular, ?40-Å-thick internal shell without icosahedral symmetry, which facilitates formation of a precursor particle, the procapsid. Analysis of IBDV procapsid mechanical properties indicated a VP3 layer beneath the icosahedral shell, which increased the effective capsid thickness. Whereas scaffolding proteins are discharged in tailed dsDNA viruses, VP3 is a multifunctional protein. In mature virions, VP3 is bound to the dsRNA genome, which is organized as ribonucleoprotein complexes. IBDV is an amalgam of dsRNA viral ancestors and traits from dsDNA and single-stranded RNA (ssRNA) viruses.IMPORTANCE Structural analyses highlight the constraint of virus evolution to a limited number of capsid protein folds and assembly strategies that result in a functional virion. We report the cryo-EM and cryo-electron tomography structures and the results of atomic force microscopy studies of the infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV), a double-stranded RNA virus with an icosahedral capsid. We found evidence of a new inner shell that might act as an internal scaffold during IBDV assembly. The use of an internal scaffold is reminiscent of tailed dsDNA viruses, which constitute the most successful self-replicating system on Earth. The IBDV scaffold protein is multifunctional and, after capsid maturation, is genome bound to form ribonucleoprotein complexes. IBDV encompasses numerous functional and structural characteristics of RNA and DNA viruses; we suggest that IBDV is a modern descendant of ancestral viruses and comprises different features of current viral lineages.
Project description:Members of the virus family Sphaerolipoviridae include both archaeal viruses and bacteriophages that possess a tailless icosahedral capsid with an internal membrane. The genera Alpha- and Betasphaerolipovirus comprise viruses that infect halophilic euryarchaea, whereas viruses of thermophilic Thermus bacteria belong to the genus Gammasphaerolipovirus. Both sequence-based and structural clustering of the major capsid proteins and ATPases of sphaerolipoviruses yield three distinct clades corresponding to these three genera. Conserved virion architectural principles observed in sphaerolipoviruses suggest that these viruses belong to the PRD1-adenovirus structural lineage. Here we focus on archaeal alphasphaerolipoviruses and their related putative proviruses. The highest sequence similarities among alphasphaerolipoviruses are observed in the core structural elements of their virions: the two major capsid proteins, the major membrane protein, and a putative packaging ATPase. A recently described tailless icosahedral haloarchaeal virus, Haloarcula californiae icosahedral virus 1 (HCIV-1), has a double-stranded DNA genome and an internal membrane lining the capsid. HCIV-1 shares significant similarities with the other tailless icosahedral internal membrane-containing haloarchaeal viruses of the family Sphaerolipoviridae. The proposal to include a new virus species, Haloarcula virus HCIV1, into the genus Alphasphaerolipovirus was submitted to the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (ICTV) in 2016.
Project description:Acanthamoeba species are infected by the largest known DNA viruses. These include icosahedral Mimiviruses, amphora-shaped Pandoraviruses, and Pithovirus sibericum, the latter one isolated from 30,000-y-old permafrost. Mollivirus sibericum, a fourth type of giant virus, was isolated from the same permafrost sample. Its approximately spherical virion (0.6-µm diameter) encloses a 651-kb GC-rich genome encoding 523 proteins of which 64% are ORFans; 16% have their closest homolog in Pandoraviruses and 10% in Acanthamoeba castellanii probably through horizontal gene transfer. The Mollivirus nucleocytoplasmic replication cycle was analyzed using a combination of "omic" approaches that revealed how the virus highjacks its host machinery to actively replicate. Surprisingly, the host's ribosomal proteins are packaged in the virion. Metagenomic analysis of the permafrost sample uncovered the presence of both viruses, yet in very low amount. The fact that two different viruses retain their infectivity in prehistorical permafrost layers should be of concern in a context of global warming. Giant viruses' diversity remains to be fully explored.
Project description:Formation of many dsDNA viruses begins with the assembly of a procapsid, containing scaffolding proteins and a multisubunit portal but lacking DNA, which matures into an infectious virion. This process, conserved among dsDNA viruses such as herpes viruses and bacteriophages, is key to forming infectious virions. Bacteriophage P22 has served as a model system for this study in the past several decades. However, how capsid assembly is initiated, where and how scaffolding proteins bind to coat proteins in the procapsid, and the conformational changes upon capsid maturation still remain elusive. Here, we report Cα backbone models for the P22 procapsid and infectious virion derived from electron cryomicroscopy density maps determined at 3.8- and 4.0-Å resolution, respectively, and the first procapsid structure at subnanometer resolution without imposing symmetry. The procapsid structures show the scaffolding protein interacting electrostatically with the N terminus (N arm) of the coat protein through its C-terminal helix-loop-helix motif, as well as unexpected interactions between 10 scaffolding proteins and the 12-fold portal located at a unique vertex. These suggest a critical role for the scaffolding proteins both in initiating the capsid assembly at the portal vertex and propagating its growth on a T = 7 icosahedral lattice. Comparison of the procapsid and the virion backbone models reveals coordinated and complex conformational changes. These structural observations allow us to propose a more detailed molecular mechanism for the scaffolding-mediated capsid assembly initiation including portal incorporation, release of scaffolding proteins upon DNA packaging, and maturation into infectious virions.
Project description:Viruses infecting hyperthermophilic archaea represent one of the most enigmatic parts of the global virome, with viruses from different families showing no genomic relatedness to each other or to viruses of bacteria and eukaryotes. Tristromaviruses, which build enveloped filamentous virions and infect hyperthermophilic neutrophiles of the order Thermoproteales, represent one such enigmatic virus families. They do not share genes with viruses from other families and have been believed to represent an evolutionarily independent virus lineage. A cryo-electron microscopic reconstruction of the tristromavirus Pyrobaculum filamentous virus 2 at 3.4?Å resolution shows that the virion is constructed from two paralogous major capsid proteins (MCP) which transform the linear dsDNA genome of the virus into A-form by tightly wrapping around it. Unexpectedly, the two MCP are homologous to the capsid proteins of other filamentous archaeal viruses, uncovering a deep evolutionary relationship within the archaeal virosphere.
Project description:Enterovirus D68 (EV-D68) belongs to a group of enteroviruses that contain a single positive-sense RNA genome surrounded by an icosahedral capsid. Like common cold viruses, EV-D68 mainly causes respiratory infections and is acid-labile. The molecular mechanism by which the acid-sensitive EV-D68 virions uncoat and deliver their genome into a host cell is unknown. Using cryoelectron microscopy (cryo-EM), we have determined the structures of the full native virion and an uncoating intermediate [the A (altered) particle] of EV-D68 at 2.2- and 2.7-Å resolution, respectively. These structures showed that acid treatment of EV-D68 leads to particle expansion, externalization of the viral protein VP1 N termini from the capsid interior, and formation of pores around the icosahedral twofold axes through which the viral RNA can exit. Moreover, because of the low stability of EV-D68, cryo-EM analyses of a mixed population of particles at neutral pH and following acid treatment demonstrated the involvement of multiple structural intermediates during virus uncoating. Among these, a previously undescribed state, the expanded 1 ("E1") particle, shows a majority of internal regions (e.g., the VP1 N termini) to be ordered as in the full native virion. Thus, the E1 particle acts as an intermediate in the transition from full native virions to A particles. Together, the present work delineates the pathway of EV-D68 uncoating and provides the molecular basis for the acid lability of EV-D68 and of the related common cold viruses.
Project description:Comparative analysis of the protein sequences encoded in the genomes of three families of large DNA viruses that replicate, completely or partly, in the cytoplasm of eukaryotic cells (poxviruses, asfarviruses, and iridoviruses) and phycodnaviruses that replicate in the nucleus reveals 9 genes that are shared by all of these viruses and 22 more genes that are present in at least three of the four compared viral families. Although orthologous proteins from different viral families typically show weak sequence similarity, because of which some of them have not been identified previously, at least five of the conserved genes appear to be synapomorphies (shared derived characters) that unite these four viral families, to the exclusion of all other known viruses and cellular life forms. Cladistic analysis with the genes shared by at least two viral families as evolutionary characters supports the monophyly of poxviruses, asfarviruses, iridoviruses, and phycodnaviruses. The results of genome comparison allow a tentative reconstruction of the ancestral viral genome and suggest that the common ancestor of all of these viral families was a nucleocytoplasmic virus with an icosahedral capsid, which encoded complex systems for DNA replication and transcription, a redox protein involved in disulfide bond formation in virion membrane proteins, and probably inhibitors of apoptosis. The conservation of the disulfide-oxidoreductase, a major capsid protein, and two virion membrane proteins indicates that the odd-shaped virions of poxviruses have evolved from the more common icosahedral virion seen in asfarviruses, iridoviruses, and phycodnaviruses.