ABSTRACT: The final stage of Ebola virus (EBOV) replication is budding from host cells, where the matrix protein VP40 is essential for driving this process. Many post-translational modifications such as ubiquitination are involved in VP40 egress, but acetylation has not been studied yet. Here, we characterize NEDD4 is acetylated at a conserved Lys667 mediated by the acetyltransferase P300 which drives VP40 egress process. Importantly, P300-mediated NEDD4 acetylation promotes NEDD4-VP40 interaction which enhances NEDD4 E3 ligase activity and is essential for the activation of VP40 ubiquitination and subsequent egress. Finally, we find that Zaire ebolavirus production is dramatically reduced in P300 knockout cell lines, suggesting that P300-mediated NEDD4 acetylation may have a physiological effect on Ebola virus life cycle. Thus, our study identifies an acetylation-dependent regulatory mechanism that governs VP40 ubiquitination and provides insights into how acetylation controls EBOV VP40 egress.
Project description:Ebola virus budding is mediated by the VP40 matrix protein. VP40 can bud from mammalian cells independent of other viral proteins, and efficient release of VP40 virus-like particles (VLPs) requires interactions with host proteins such as tsg101 and Nedd4, an E3 ubiquitin ligase. Ubiquitin itself is thought to be exploited by Ebola virus to facilitate efficient virus egress. Disruption of VP40 function and thus virus budding remains an attractive target for the development of novel antiviral therapies. Here, we investigate the effect of ISG15 protein on the release of Ebola VP40 VLPs. ISG15 is an IFN-inducible, ubiquitin-like protein expressed after bacterial or viral infection. Our results show that expression of free ISG15, or the ISGylation system (UbE1L and UbcH8), inhibits budding of Ebola virus VP40 VLPs. Addressing the molecular mechanism of this inhibition, we show that ISG15 interacts with Nedd4 ubiquitin ligase and inhibits ubiquitination of VP40. Furthermore, the L-domain deletion mutant of VP40 (DeltaPT/PY), which does not interact with Nedd4, was insensitive to ISG15-mediated inhibition of VLP release. These data provide evidence of antiviral activity of ISG15 against Ebola virus and suggest a mechanism of action involving disruption of Nedd4 function and subsequent ubiquitination of VP40.
Project description:Filoviruses are filamentous lipid-enveloped viruses and include Ebola (EBOV) and Marburg, which are morphologically identical but antigenically distinct. These viruses can be very deadly with outbreaks of EBOV having clinical fatality as high as 90%. In 2012 there were two separate Ebola outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of Congo and Uganda that resulted in 25 and 4 fatalities, respectively. The lack of preventive vaccines and FDA-approved therapeutics has struck fear that the EBOV could become a pandemic threat. The Ebola genome encodes only seven genes, which mediate the entry, replication, and egress of the virus from the host cell. The EBOV matrix protein is VP40, which is found localized under the lipid envelope of the virus where it bridges the viral lipid envelope and nucleocapsid. VP40 is effectively a peripheral protein that mediates the plasma membrane binding and budding of the virus prior to egress. A number of studies have demonstrated specific deletions or mutations of VP40 to abrogate viral egress but to date pharmacological inhibition of VP40 has not been demonstrated. This editorial highlights VP40, which is the most abundantly expressed protein of the virus and discusses VP40 as a potential therapeutic target.
Project description:We prepared a series of quinoxalin-2-mercapto-acetyl-urea analogs and evaluated them for their ability to inhibit viral egress in our Marburg and Ebola VP40 VLP budding assays in HEK293T cells. We also evaluated selected compounds in our bimolecular complementation assay (BiMC) to detect and visualize a Marburg mVP40-Nedd4 interaction in live mammalian cells. Antiviral activity was assessed for selected compounds using a live recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) (M40 virus) that expresses the EBOV VP40 PPxY L-domain. Finally selected compounds were evaluated in several ADME assays to have an early assessment of their drug properties. Our compounds had low nM potency in these assays (e.g., compounds 21, 24, 26, 39), and had good human liver microsome stability, as well as little or no inhibition of P450 3A4.
Project description:Ebola virus (EBOV) causes viral hemorrhagic fever in humans and can have clinical fatality rates of ~60%. The EBOV genome consists of negative sense RNA that encodes seven proteins including viral protein 40 (VP40). VP40 is the major Ebola virus matrix protein and regulates assembly and egress of infectious Ebola virus particles. It is well established that VP40 assembles on the inner leaflet of the plasma membrane of human cells to regulate viral budding where VP40 can produce virus like particles (VLPs) without other Ebola virus proteins present. The mechanistic details, however, of VP40 lipid-interactions and protein-protein interactions that are important for viral release remain to be elucidated. Here, we mutated a loop region in the N-terminal domain of VP40 (Lys127, Thr129, and Asn130) and find that mutations (K127A, T129A, and N130A) in this loop region reduce plasma membrane localization of VP40. Additionally, using total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy and number and brightness analysis we demonstrate these mutations greatly reduce VP40 oligomerization. Lastly, VLP assays demonstrate these mutations significantly reduce VLP release from cells. Taken together, these studies identify an important loop region in VP40 that may be essential to viral egress.
Project description:Filoviruses Ebola (EBOV) and Marburg (MARV) are devastating high-priority pathogens capable of causing explosive outbreaks with high human mortality rates. The matrix proteins of EBOV and MARV, as well as eVP40 and mVP40, respectively, are the key viral proteins that drive virus assembly and egress and can bud independently from cells in the form of virus-like particles (VLPs). The matrix proteins utilize proline-rich Late (L) domain motifs (e.g., PPxY) to hijack specific host proteins that contain WW domains, such as the HECT family E3 ligases, to facilitate the last step of virus-cell separation. We identified E3 ubiquitin ligase Smad Ubiquitin Regulatory Factor 2 (SMURF2) as a novel interactor with VP40 that positively regulates VP40 VLP release. Our results show that eVP40 and mVP40 interact with the three WW domains of SMURF2 via their PPxY motifs. We provide evidence that the eVP40-SMURF2 interaction is functional as the expression of SMURF2 positively regulates VLP egress, while siRNA knockdown of endogenous SMURF2 decreases VLP budding compared to controls. In sum, our identification of novel interactor SMURF2 adds to the growing list of identified host proteins that can regulate PPxY-mediated egress of VP40 VLPs. A more comprehensive understanding of the modular interplay between filovirus VP40 and host proteins may lead to the development of new therapies to combat these deadly infections.
Project description:VP40 is one of eight proteins encoded by the Ebola Virus (EBOV) and serves as the primary matrix protein, forming virus like particles (VLPs) from mammalian cells without the need for other EBOV proteins. While VP40 is required for viral assembly and budding from host cells during infection, the mechanisms that target VP40 to the plasma membrane are not well understood. Phosphatidylserine is required for VP40 plasma membrane binding, VP40 hexamer formation, and VLP egress, However, PS also becomes exposed on the outer membrane leaflet at sites of VP40 budding, raising the question of how VP40 maintains an interaction with the plasma membrane inner leaflet when PS is flipped to the opposite side. To address this question, cellular and in vitro assays were employed to determine if phosphoinositides are important for efficient VP40 localization to the plasma membrane. Cellular studies demonstrated that PI(4,5)P2 was an important component of VP40 assembly at the plasma membrane and subsequent virus like particle formation. Additionally, PI(4,5)P2 was required for formation of extensive oligomers of VP40, suggesting PS and PI(4,5)P2 have different roles in VP40 assembly where PS regulates formation of hexamers from VP40 dimers and PI(4,5)P2 stabilizes and/or induces extensive VP40 oligomerization at the plasma membrane.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Ebola virus (EBOV) mainly targets myeloid cells; however, extensive death of T cells is often observed in lethal infections. We have previously shown that EBOV VP40 in exosomes causes recipient immune cell death.<h4>Methods</h4>Using VP40-producing clones, we analyzed donor cell cycle, extracellular vesicle (EV) biogenesis, and recipient immune cell death. Transcription of cyclin D1 and nuclear localization of VP40 were examined via kinase and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays. Extracellular vesicle contents were characterized by mass spectrometry, cytokine array, and western blot. Biosafety level-4 facilities were used for wild-type Ebola virus infection studies.<h4>Results</h4>VP40 EVs induced apoptosis in recipient T cells and monocytes. VP40 clones were accelerated in growth due to cyclin D1 upregulation, and nuclear VP40 was found bound to the cyclin D1 promoter. Accelerated cell cycling was related to EV biogenesis, resulting in fewer but larger EVs. VP40 EV contents were enriched in ribonucleic acid-binding proteins and cytokines (interleukin-15, transforming growth factor-β1, and interferon-γ). Finally, EBOV-infected cell and animal EVs contained VP40, nucleoprotein, and glycoprotein.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Nuclear VP40 upregulates cyclin D1 levels, resulting in dysregulated cell cycle and EV biogenesis. Packaging of cytokines and EBOV proteins into EVs from infected cells may be responsible for the decimation of immune cells during EBOV pathogenesis.
Project description:Ebola virus (EBOV) causes severe hemorrhagic fevers in humans, and no approved therapeutics or vaccine is currently available. Glycoprotein (GP) is the major protective antigen of EBOV, and can generate virus-like particles (VLPs) by co-expression with matrix protein (VP40). In this study, we constructed a recombinant Alphavirus Semliki Forest virus (SFV) replicon vector DREP to express EBOV GP and matrix viral protein (VP40). EBOV VLPs were successfully generated and achieved budding from 293 cells after co-transfection with DREP-based GP and VP40 vectors (DREP-GP+DREP-VP40). Vaccination of BALB/c mice with DREP-GP, DREP-VP40, or DREP-GP+DREP-VP40 vectors, followed by immediate electroporation resulted in a mixed IgG subclass production, which recognized EBOV GP and/or VP40 proteins. This vaccination regimen also led to the generation of both Th1 and Th2 cellular immune responses in mice. Notably, vaccination with DREP-GP and DREP-VP40, which produces both GP and VP40 antigens, induced a significantly higher level of anti-GP IgG2a antibody and increased IFN-? secreting CD8+ T-cell responses relative to vaccination with DREP-GP or DREP-VP40 vector alone. Our study indicates that co-expression of GP and VP40 antigens based on the SFV replicon vector generates EBOV VLPs in vitro, and vaccination with recombinant DREP vectors containing GP and VP40 antigens induces Ebola antigen-specific humoral and cellular immune responses in mice. This novel approach provides a simple and efficient vaccine platform for Ebola disease prevention.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>BST2/tetherin is an innate immune molecule with the unique ability to restrict the egress of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and other enveloped viruses, including Ebola virus (EBOV). Coincident with this discovery was the finding that the HIV Vpu protein down-regulates BST2 from the cell surface, thereby promoting viral release. Evidence suggests that the EBOV envelope glycoprotein (GP) also counteracts BST2, although the mechanism is unclear.<h4>Results</h4>We find that total levels of BST2 remain unchanged in the presence of GP, whereas surface BST2 is significantly reduced. GP is known to sterically mask surface receptors via its mucin domain. Our evaluation of mutant GP molecules indicate that masking of BST2 by GP is probably responsible for the apparent surface BST2 down-regulation; however, this masking does not explain the observed virus-like particle egress enhancement. We discovered that VP40 coimmunoprecipitates and colocalizes with BST2 in the absence but not in the presence of GP.<h4>Conclusions</h4>These results suggest that GP may overcome the BST2 restriction by blocking an interaction between VP40 and BST2. Furthermore, we have observed that GP may enhance BST2 incorporation into virus-like particles. Understanding this novel EBOV immune evasion strategy will provide valuable insights into the pathogenicity of this deadly pathogen.
Project description:Ebola virus budding is mediated by two proline-rich motifs, PPxY and PTAP, within the viral matrix protein VP40. We have previously shown that a Nedd4-like protein BUL1, but not Nedd4, positively regulates budding of type D retrovirus Mason-Pfizer monkey virus (J. Yasuda, E. Hunter, M. Nakao, and H. Shida, EMBO Rep. 3:636-640, 2002). Here, we report that the cellular E3 ubiquitin ligase Nedd4 regulates budding of VP40-induced virus-like particles (VLPs) through interaction with the PPxY motif. Mutation of the active site cysteine (C894A), resulting in abrogation of ubiquitin ligase activity, impaired the function of Nedd4 on budding. In addition, the WW domains of Nedd4 are essential for binding to the viral PPxY motif, and a small fragment of Nedd4 containing only WW domains significantly inhibited Ebola VLP budding in a dominant-negative manner. Our findings suggest that the viruses containing PPxY as an L-domain motif specifically use E3 in the process of virus budding. We also examined the effects of overexpression of Tsg101 and its mutant. As expected, Tsg101 enhanced VP40-induced VLP release, and TsgDeltaC, which lacks its C-terminal half, inhibited VLP release. These results indicate that Nedd4, together with Tsg101, plays an important role in Ebola virus budding.