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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

  • Per Os Infectivity Factor 5 Identified as a Substrate of P33 in the Baculoviral Disulfide Bond Formation Pathway [Structure and Assembly]

  • Disulfide bonds are critical for the structure and function of many proteins. Some large DNA viruses encode their own sulfhydryl oxidase for disulfide bond formation. Previous studies have demonstrated that the baculovirus-encoded sulfhydryl oxidase P33 is necessary for progeny virus production, and its enzymatic activity is important for morphogenesis and oral infectivity of baculoviruses. However, the downstream substrates of P33 in the putative redox pathway of baculoviruses are unknown. In this study, we showed that PIF5, one of the per os infectivity factors (PIFs), contained intramolecular disulfide bonds and that the disulfide bond formation was interrupted in the absence of P33. In vivo pulldown and colocalization analyses revealed that PIF5 and P33 interacted with each other during virus infection. Further, in vitro assays validated that the reduced PIF5 proteins could be oxidized by P33. To understand the contribution of disulfide bonds to the function of PIF5, several cysteine-to-serine mutants were constructed, which all interfered with the disulfide bond formation of PIF5 to different extents. All the mutants lost their oral infectivity but had no impact on infectious budding virus (BV) production or virus morphogenesis. Taken together, our results indicated PIF5 as the first identified substrate of P33. Further, the disulfide bonds in PIF5 play an essential role in its function in oral infection.

    IMPORTANCE Similar to some large DNA viruses that encode their own disulfide bond pathway, baculovirus encodes a viral sulfhydryl oxidase, P33. Enzyme activity of P33 is related to infectious BV production, occlusion-derived virus (ODV) envelopment, occlusion body morphogenesis, and oral infectivity, suggesting that P33 is involved in disulfide bond formation of multiple proteins. A complete disulfide bond formation pathway normally contains a sulfhydryl oxidase, a disulfide-donating enzyme, and one or more substrates. In baculovirus, apart from P33, other components of the putative pathway remain unknown. In this study, we identified PIF5 as the first substrate of P33, which is fundamental for revealing the complete disulfide bond formation pathway in baculovirus. PIF5 is essential for oral infection and is absent from the PIF complex. Our study demonstrated that native disulfide bonds in PIF5 are required for oral infection, which will help us to reveal its mode of action.

  • Comparison of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Spike Protein Binding to ACE2 Receptors from Human, Pets, Farm Animals, and Putative Intermediate Hosts [Structure and Assembly]

  • The emergence of a novel coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), resulted in a pandemic. Here, we used X-ray structures of human ACE2 bound to the receptor-binding domain (RBD) of the spike protein (S) from SARS-CoV-2 to predict its binding to ACE2 proteins from different animals, including pets, farm animals, and putative intermediate hosts of SARS-CoV-2. Comparing the interaction sites of ACE2 proteins known to serve or not serve as receptors allows the definition of residues important for binding. From the 20 amino acids in ACE2 that contact S, up to 7 can be replaced and ACE2 can still function as the SARS-CoV-2 receptor. These variable amino acids are clustered at certain positions, mostly at the periphery of the binding site, while changes of the invariable residues prevent S binding or infection of the respective animal. Some ACE2 proteins even tolerate the loss or acquisition of N-glycosylation sites located near the S interface. Of note, pigs and dogs, which are not infected or are not effectively infected and have only a few changes in the binding site, exhibit relatively low levels of ACE2 in the respiratory tract. Comparison of the RBD of S of SARS-CoV-2 with that from bat coronavirus strain RaTG13 (Bat-CoV-RaTG13) and pangolin coronavirus (Pangolin-CoV) strain hCoV-19/pangolin/Guangdong/1/2019 revealed that the latter contains only one substitution, whereas Bat-CoV-RaTG13 exhibits five. However, ACE2 of pangolin exhibits seven changes relative to human ACE2, and a similar number of substitutions is present in ACE2 of bats, raccoon dogs, and civets, suggesting that SARS-CoV-2 may not be especially adapted to ACE2 of any of its putative intermediate hosts. These analyses provide new insight into the receptor usage and animal source/origin of SARS-CoV-2.

    IMPORTANCE SARS-CoV-2 is threatening people worldwide, and there are no drugs or vaccines available to mitigate its spread. The origin of the virus is still unclear, and whether pets and livestock can be infected and transmit SARS-CoV-2 are important and unknown scientific questions. Effective binding to the host receptor ACE2 is the first prerequisite for infection of cells and determines the host range. Our analysis provides a framework for the prediction of potential hosts of SARS-CoV-2. We found that ACE2 from species known to support SARS-CoV-2 infection tolerate many amino acid changes, indicating that the species barrier might be low. Exceptions are dogs and especially pigs, which revealed relatively low ACE2 expression levels in the respiratory tract. Monitoring of animals is necessary to prevent the generation of a new coronavirus reservoir. Finally, our analysis also showed that SARS-CoV-2 may not be specifically adapted to any of its putative intermediate hosts.

  • Structural Characterization of the Helicase nsp10 Encoded by Porcine Reproductive and Respiratory Syndrome Virus [Structure and Assembly]

  • Currently, an effective therapeutic treatment for porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) remains elusive. PRRSV helicase nsp10 is an important component of the replication transcription complex that plays a crucial role in viral replication, making nsp10 an important target for drug development. Here, we report the first crystal structure of full-length nsp10 from the arterivirus PRRSV, which has multiple domains: an N-terminal zinc-binding domain (ZBD), a 1B domain, and helicase core domains 1A and 2A. Importantly, our structural analyses indicate that the conformation of the 1B domain from arterivirus nsp10 undergoes a dynamic transition. The polynucleotide substrate channel formed by domains 1A and 1B adopts an open state, which may create enough space to accommodate and bind double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) during unwinding. Moreover, we report a unique C-terminal domain structure that participates in stabilizing the overall helicase structure. Our biochemical experiments also showed that deletion of the 1B domain and C-terminal domain significantly reduced the helicase activity of nsp10, indicating that the four domains must cooperate to contribute to helicase function. In addition, our results indicate that nidoviruses contain a conserved helicase core domain and key amino acid sites affecting helicase function, which share a common mechanism of helicase translocation and unwinding activity. These findings will help to further our understanding of the mechanism of helicase function and provide new targets for the development of antiviral drugs.

    IMPORTANCE Porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome virus (PRRSV) is a major respiratory disease agent in pigs that causes enormous economic losses to the global swine industry. PRRSV helicase nsp10 is a multifunctional protein with translocation and unwinding activities and plays a vital role in viral RNA synthesis. Here, we report the first structure of full-length nsp10 from the arterivirus PRRSV at 3.0-AAring; resolution. Our results show that the 1B domain of PRRSV nsp10 adopts a novel open state and has a unique C-terminal domain structure, which plays a crucial role in nsp10 helicase activity. Furthermore, mutagenesis and structural analysis revealed conservation of the helicase catalytic domain across the order Nidovirales (families Arteriviridae and Coronaviridae). Importantly, our results will provide a structural basis for further understanding the function of helicases in the order Nidovirales.