Vaccinia Virus Entry Is Followed by Core Activation and Proteasome-Mediated Release of the Immunomodulatory Effector VH1 from Lateral Bodies

Institute of Biochemistry, ETH Zurich, 8093 Zurich, Switzerland.
Cell Reports (Impact Factor: 8.36). 07/2013; 4(3). DOI: 10.1016/j.celrep.2013.06.028
Source: PubMed


Host cell entry of vaccinia virus, the prototypic poxvirus, involves a membrane fusion event delivering the viral core and two proteinaceous lateral bodies (LBs) into the cytosol. Uncoating of viral cores is poorly characterized, and the composition and function of LBs remains enigmatic. We found that cytosolic cores rapidly dissociated from LBs and expanded in volume, which coincided with reduction of disulfide-bonded core proteins. We identified the abundant phosphoprotein F17, the dual-specificity phosphatase VH1, and the oxidoreductase G4 as bona fide LB components. After reaching the cytosol, F17 was degraded in a proteasome-dependent manner. Proteasome activity, and presumably LB disassembly, was required for the immediate immunomodulatory activity of VH1: dephosphorylation of STAT1 to prevent interferon-γ-mediated antiviral responses. These results reveal a mechanism used by poxviruses to deliver viral enzymes to the host cell cytosol and are likely to facilitate the identification of additional LB-resident viral effectors.

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    • "Our data have also shown that after NP40 treatment virions were enlarged and their dimensions were now similar to the capsule-like particles. It is also important to mention that cores increase in size after being released inside the cell (Cyrklaff et al., 2007; Schmidt et al., 2013). The change in size of VACV can be viewed in a broader perspective. "
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    ABSTRACT: The vaccinia virion is a membraned, slightly flattened, barrel-shaped particle, with a complex internal structure featuring a biconcave core flanked by lateral bodies. Although the architecture of the purified mature virion has been intensely characterized by electron microscopy, the distribution of the proteins within the virion has been examined primarily using biochemical procedures. Thus, it has been shown that non-ionic and ionic detergents combined or not with a sulfhydryl reagent can be used to disrupt virions and, to a limited degree, separate the constituent proteins in different fractions. Applying a controlled degradation technique to virions adsorbed on EM grids, we were able to immuno-localize viral proteins within the virion particle. Our results show after NP40 and DTT treatment, membrane proteins are removed from the virion surface revealing proteins that are associated with the lateral bodies and the outer layer of the core wall. Combined treatment using high salt and high DTT removed lateral body proteins and exposed proteins of the internal core wall. Cores treated with proteases could be disrupted and the internal components were exposed. Cts8, a mutant in the A3 protein, produces aberrant virus that, when treated with NP-40 and DTT, releases to the exterior the virus DNA associated with other internal core proteins. With these results, we are able to propose a model for the structure the vaccinia virion. Published by Elsevier Inc.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2014 · Virology
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    • "Instead, poxviruses undergo a stepwise uncoating process that involves core activation and genome release. While core activation occurs immediately after membrane fusion (Schmidt et al., 2013), genome release requires proteasome activity and the expression of early viral genes. Here, we demonstrate that the VACV AAA+ ATPase D5 is a multifunctional protein required for genome uncoating and DNA replication. "
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    ABSTRACT: Recent studies have revealed new insights into the endocytosis of vaccinia virus (VACV). However, the mechanism of fusion between viral and cellular membranes remains unknown. We developed a microfluidic device with a cell-trap array for immobilization of individual cells, with which we analyzed the acid-dependent fusion of single virions. VACV particles incorporating enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) and labeled with self-quenching concentrations of R18 membrane dye were used in combination with total internal reflection fluorescence microscopy to measure the kinetics of R18 dequenching and thus single hemifusion events initiated by a fast low-pH trigger. These studies revealed unexpectedly long lag phases between pH change and hemifusion. In addition, we found that EGFP fluorescence in the virus was quenched upon acidification, indicating that protons could access the virus core, possibly through a proton channel. In a fraction of virus particles, EGFP fluorescence was recovered, presumably after fusion-pore formation and exposure of the core to the physiological pH of the host-cell cytosol. Given that virus-encoded cation channels play a crucial role in the life cycle of many viruses and can serve as antiviral drug targets, further investigations into a potential VACV viroporin are justified. Our findings indicate that the microfluidic device described may be highly beneficial to similar studies requiring fast kinetic measurements.
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