Roles of the minor capsid protein P7 in the assembly and replication of double-stranded RNA bacteriophage phi6.
ABSTRACT The polymerase complexes of double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) viruses are multifunctional RNA processing machineries that carry out viral genome packaging, replication, and transcription. The polymerase complex forms the innermost virion shell and is structurally related in dsRNA viruses infecting a diversity of host organisms. In this study, we analyzed the properties and functions of the minor polymerase complex protein P7 of dsRNA bacteriophage phi6 using terminally truncated P7 polypeptides and an in vitro self-assembly system established for the phi6 polymerase complex. The N-terminally truncated P7 failed to dimerize, whereas C-terminally truncated P7 polypeptides formed functional dimers that were incorporated into the polymerase complex. Nevertheless, the polymerase complex assembly kinetics and stability were altered by the incorporation of the C-terminally truncated P7. Using the in vitro assembly system for phi6 nucleocapsids and subsequent infectivity assays, we confirmed that full-length P7 is necessary for the formation of infectious viral particles. Contrary to previous results, we found that P7 must be incorporated into polymerase complexes during shell assembly.
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ABSTRACT: The cystovirus ϕ6 shares several distinct features with other double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) viruses, including the human pathogen, rotavirus: segmented genomes, nonequivalent packing of 120 subunits in its icosahedral capsid, and capsids as compartments for transcription and replication. ϕ6 assembles as a dodecahedral procapsid that undergoes major conformational changes as it matures into the spherical capsid. We determined the crystal structure of the capsid protein, P1, revealing a flattened trapezoid subunit with an α-helical fold. We also solved the procapsid with cryo-electron microscopy to comparable resolution. Fitting the crystal structure into the procapsid disclosed substantial conformational differences between the two P1 conformers. Maturation via two intermediate states involves remodeling on a similar scale, besides huge rigid-body rotations. The capsid structure and its stepwise maturation that is coupled to sequential packaging of three RNA segments sets the cystoviruses apart from other dsRNA viruses as a dynamic molecular machine.Structure 07/2013; · 5.99 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Bacteriophage phi6 is the type member of the family Cystoviridae and infects Gram-negative Pseudomonas syringae cells. The virion consists of a protein-rich lipid envelope enclosing a nucleocapsid. The nucleocapsid covers the icosahedral polymerase complex that encloses the double-stranded RNA genome. Here, we demonstrate that nucleocapsid surface protein P8 is the single nucleocapsid component interacting with the cytoplasmic membrane. This interaction takes place between P8 and phospholipid. Based on this and previous studies, we propose a model where the periplasmic nucleocapsid interacts with the phospholipid head groups and, when the membrane voltage exceeds the threshold of 110 mV, this interaction drives the nucleocapsid through the cytoplasmic membrane, resulting in an intracellular vesicle containing the nucleocapsid.Journal of General Virology 08/2010; 91(Pt 8):2116-20. · 3.13 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Many complex viruses use an assembly pathway in which their genome is packaged into an empty procapsid which subsequently matures into its final expanded form. We utilized Pseudomonas phage ϕ6, a well-established virus assembly model, to probe the plasticity of the procapsid maturation pathway. The ϕ6 packaging nucleoside triphosphatase (NTPase), which powers sequential translocation of the three viral genomic single-stranded RNA molecules to the procapsid during capsid maturation, is part of the mature ϕ6 virion but may spontaneously be dissociated from the procapsid shell. We demonstrate that the dissociation of NTPase subunits results in premature capsid expansion, which is detected as a change in the sedimentation velocity and as defects in RNA packaging and transcription activity. However, this dead-end conformation of the procapsids was rescued by the addition of purified NTPase hexamers, which efficiently associated on the NTPase-deficient particles and subsequently drove their contraction to the compact naïve conformation. The resulting particles regained their biological and enzymatic activities directing them into a productive maturation pathway. These observations imply that the maturation pathways of complex viruses may contain reversible steps that allow the rescue of the off-pathway conformation in an overall unidirectional virion assembly pathway. Furthermore, we provide direct experimental evidence that particles which have different physical properties (distinct sedimentation velocities and conformations) display different stages of the genome packaging program and show that the transcriptional activity of the ϕ6 procapsids correlates with the number of associated NTPase subunits.Journal of Virology 10/2013; · 5.08 Impact Factor