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Jean-Yves Sgro
Inst. for Mol.Virology
731B Bock Labs
1525 Linden Drive Madison, WI 53706

Current Papers in Structure and Assembly (Journal of Virology)

Journal of Virology Structure and Assembly

  • The Putative Herpes Simplex Virus 1 Chaperone Protein UL32 Modulates Disulfide Bond Formation during Infection [Structure and Assembly]

  • During DNA encapsidation, herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) procapsids are converted to DNA-containing capsids by a process involving activation of the viral protease, expulsion of the scaffold proteins, and the uptake of viral DNA. Encapsidation requires six minor capsid proteins (UL6, UL15, UL17, UL25, UL28, and UL33) and one viral protein, UL32, not found to be associated with capsids. Although functions have been assigned to each of the minor capsid proteins, the role of UL32 in encapsidation has remained a mystery. Using an HSV-1 variant containing a functional hemagglutinin-tagged UL32, we demonstrated that UL32 was synthesized with true late kinetics and that it exhibited a previously unrecognized localization pattern. At 6 to 9 h postinfection (hpi), UL32 accumulated in viral replication compartments in the nucleus of the host cell, while at 24 hpi, it was additionally found in the cytoplasm. A newly generated UL32-null mutant was used to confirm that although B capsids containing wild-type levels of capsid proteins were synthesized, these procapsids were unable to initiate the encapsidation process. Furthermore, we showed that UL32 is redox sensitive and identified two highly conserved oxidoreductase-like C-X-X-C motifs that are essential for protein function. In addition, the disulfide bond profiles of the viral proteins UL6, UL25, and VP19C and the viral protease, VP24, were altered in the absence of UL32, suggesting that UL32 may act to modulate disulfide bond formation during procapsid assembly and maturation.

    IMPORTANCE Although functions have been assigned to six of the seven required packaging proteins of HSV, the role of UL32 in encapsidation has remained a mystery. UL32 is a cysteine-rich viral protein that contains C-X-X-C motifs reminiscent of those in proteins that participate in the regulation of disulfide bond formation. We have previously demonstrated that disulfide bonds are required for the formation and stability of the viral capsids and are also important for the formation and stability of the UL6 portal ring. In this report, we demonstrate that the disulfide bond profiles of the viral proteins UL6, UL25, and VP19C and the viral protease, VP24, are altered in cells infected with a newly isolated UL32-null mutant virus, suggesting that UL32 acts as a chaperone capable of modulating disulfide bond formation. Furthermore, these results suggest that proper regulation of disulfide bonds is essential for initiating encapsidation.

  • Basic Motifs Target PSGL-1, CD43, and CD44 to Plasma Membrane Sites Where HIV-1 Assembles [Structure and Assembly]

  • HIV-1 incorporates various host membrane proteins during particle assembly at the plasma membrane; however, the mechanisms mediating this incorporation process remain poorly understood. We previously showed that the HIV-1 structural protein Gag localizes to the uropod, a rear-end structure of polarized T cells, and that assembling Gag copatches with a subset, but not all, of the uropod-directed proteins, i.e., PSGL-1, CD43, and CD44, in nonpolarized T cells. The latter observation suggests the presence of a mechanism promoting virion incorporation of these cellular proteins. To address this possibility and identify molecular determinants, in the present study we examined coclustering between Gag and the transmembrane proteins in T and HeLa cells using quantitative two-color superresolution localization microscopy. Consistent with the findings of the T-cell copatching study, we found that basic residues within the matrix domain of Gag are required for Gagnndash;PSGL-1 coclustering. Notably, the presence of a polybasic sequence in the PSGL-1 cytoplasmic domain significantly enhanced this coclustering. We also found that polybasic motifs present in the cytoplasmic tails of CD43 and CD44 also promote their coclustering with Gag. ICAM-1 and ICAM-3, uropod-directed proteins that do not copatch with Gag in T cells, and CD46, a non-uropod-directed protein, showed no or little coclustering with Gag. However, replacing their cytoplasmic tails with the cytoplasmic tail of PSGL-1 significantly enhanced their coclustering with Gag. Altogether, these results identify a novel mechanism for host membrane protein association with assembling HIV-1 Gag in which polybasic sequences present in the cytoplasmic tails of the membrane proteins and in Gag are the major determinants.

    IMPORTANCE Nascent HIV-1 particles incorporate many host plasma membrane proteins during assembly. However, it is largely unknown what mechanisms promote the association of these proteins with virus assembly sites within the plasma membrane. Notably, our previous study showed that HIV-1 structural protein Gag colocalizes with a group of uropod-directed transmembrane proteins, PSGL-1, CD43, and CD44, at the plasma membrane of T cells. The results obtained in the current study using superresolution localization microscopy suggest the presence of a novel molecular mechanism promoting the association of PSGL-1, CD43, and CD44 with assembling HIV-1 which relies on polybasic sequences in HIV-1 Gag and in cytoplasmic domains of the transmembrane proteins. This information advances our understanding of virion incorporation of host plasma membrane proteins, some of which modulate virus spread positively or negatively, and suggests a possible new strategy to enrich HIV-1-based lentiviral vectors with a desired transmembrane protein.

  • Human Cytomegalovirus UL97 Phosphorylates the Viral Nuclear Egress Complex [Structure and Assembly]

  • Herpesvirus nucleocapsids exit the host cell nucleus in an unusual process known as nuclear egress. The human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) UL97 protein kinase is required for efficient nuclear egress, which can be explained by its phosphorylation of the nuclear lamina component lamin A/C, which disrupts the nuclear lamina. We found that a dominant negative lamin A/C mutant complemented the replication defect of a virus lacking UL97 in dividing cells, validating this explanation. However, as complementation was incomplete, we investigated whether the HCMV nuclear egress complex (NEC) subunits UL50 and UL53, which are required for nuclear egress and recruit UL97 to the nuclear rim, are UL97 substrates. Using mass spectrometry, we detected UL97-dependent phosphorylation of UL50 residue S216 (UL50-S216) and UL53-S19 in infected cells. Moreover, UL53-S19 was specifically phosphorylated by UL97 in vitro. Notably, treatment of infected cells with the UL97 inhibitor maribavir or infection with a UL97 mutant led to a punctate rather than a continuous distribution of the NEC at the nuclear rim. Alanine substitutions in both UL50-S216 and UL53-S19 resulted in a punctate distribution of the NEC in infected cells and also decreased virus production and nuclear egress in the absence of maribavir. These results indicate that UL97 phosphorylates the NEC and suggest that this phosphorylation modulates nuclear egress. Thus, the UL97-NEC interaction appears to recruit UL97 to the nuclear rim both for disruption of the nuclear lamina and phosphorylation of the NEC.

    IMPORTANCE Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) causes birth defects and it can cause life-threatening diseases in immunocompromised patients. HCMV assembles in the nucleus and then translocates to the cytoplasm in an unusual process termed nuclear egress, an attractive target for antiviral therapy. A viral enzyme, UL97, is important for nuclear egress. It has been proposed that this is due to its role in disruption of the nuclear lamina, which would otherwise impede nuclear egress. In validating this proposal, we showed that independent disruption of the lamina can overcome a loss of UL97, but only partly, suggesting additional roles for UL97 during nuclear egress. We then found that UL97 phosphorylates the viral nuclear egress complex (NEC), which is essential for nuclear egress, and we obtained evidence that this phosphorylation modulates this process. Our results highlight a new role for UL97, the mutual dependence of the viral NEC and UL97 during nuclear egress, and differences among herpesviruses.

  • Structure of Acidic pH Dengue Virus Showing the Fusogenic Glycoprotein Trimers [Structure and Assembly]

  • Flaviviruses undergo large conformational changes during their life cycle. Under acidic pH conditions, the mature virus forms transient fusogenic trimers of E glycoproteins that engage the lipid membrane in host cells to initiate viral fusion and nucleocapsid penetration into the cytoplasm. However, the dynamic nature of the fusogenic trimer has made the determination of its structure a challenge. Here we have used Fab fragments of the neutralizing antibody DV2-E104 to stop the conformational change of dengue virus at an intermediate stage of the fusion process. Using cryo-electron microscopy, we show that in this intermediate stage, the E glycoproteins form 60 trimers that are similar to the predicted "open" fusogenic trimer.

    IMPORTANCE The structure of a dengue virus has been captured during the formation of fusogenic trimers. This was accomplished by binding Fab fragments of the neutralizing antibody DV2-E104 to the virus at neutral pH and then decreasing the pH to 5.5. These trimers had an "open" conformation, which is distinct from the "closed" conformation of postfusion trimers. Only two of the three E proteins within each spike are bound by a Fab molecule at domain III. Steric hindrance around the icosahedral 3-fold axes prevents binding of a Fab to the third domain III of each E protein spike. Binding of the DV2-E104 Fab fragments prevents domain III from rotating by about 130ddeg; to the postfusion orientation and thus precludes the stem region from "zipping" together the three E proteins along the domain II boundaries into the "closed" postfusion conformation, thus inhibiting fusion.