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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

  • Novel Functions of Hendra Virus G N-Glycans and Comparisons to Nipah Virus [Structure and Assembly]

  • Hendra virus (HeV) and Nipah virus (NiV) are reportedly the most deadly pathogens within the Paramyxoviridae family. These two viruses bind the cellular entry receptors ephrin B2 and/or ephrin B3 via the viral attachment glycoprotein G, and the concerted efforts of G and the viral fusion glycoprotein F result in membrane fusion. Membrane fusion is essential for viral entry into host cells and for cell-cell fusion, a hallmark of the disease pathobiology. HeV G is heavily N-glycosylated, but the functions of the N-glycans remain unknown. We disrupted eight predicted N-glycosylation sites in HeV G by conservative mutations (Asn to Gln) and found that six out of eight sites were actually glycosylated (G2 to G7); one in the stalk (G2) and five in the globular head domain (G3 to G7). We then tested the roles of individual and combined HeV G N-glycan mutants and found functions in the modulation of shielding against neutralizing antibodies, intracellular transport, G-F interactions, cell-cell fusion, and viral entry. Between the highly conserved HeV and NiV G glycoproteins, similar trends in the effects of N-glycans on protein functions were observed, with differences in the levels at which some N-glycan mutants affected such functions. While the N-glycan in the stalk domain (G2) had roles that were highly conserved between HeV and NiV G, individual N-glycans in the head affected the levels of several protein functions differently. Our findings are discussed in the context of their contributions to our understanding of HeV and NiV pathogenesis and immune responses.

    IMPORTANCE Viral envelope glycoproteins are important for viral pathogenicity and immune evasion. N-glycan shielding is one mechanism by which immune evasion can be achieved. In paramyxoviruses, viral attachment and membrane fusion are governed by the close interaction of the attachment proteins H/HN/G and the fusion protein F. In this study, we show that the attachment glycoprotein G of Hendra virus (HeV), a deadly paramyxovirus, is N-glycosylated at six sites (G2 to G7) and that most of these sites have important roles in viral entry, cell-cell fusion, G-F interactions, G oligomerization, and immune evasion. Overall, we found that the N-glycan in the stalk domain (G2) had roles that were very conserved between HeV G and the closely related Nipah virus G, whereas individual N-glycans in the head quantitatively modulated several protein functions differently between the two viruses.

  • Human Cytomegalovirus pUL47 Modulates Tegumentation and Capsid Accumulation at the Viral Assembly Complex [Structure and Assembly]

  • Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) tegument protein pUL47 is an interaction partner of pUL48 and highly conserved among herpesviruses. It is closely associated with the capsid and has an important function early in infection. Here, we report a specific role of pUL47 in the tegumentation of capsids in the cytoplasm. A newly generated mutant virus (TB-47stop), in which expression of pUL47 is blocked, exhibited a severe impairment in cell-to-cell spread and release of infectivity from infected cells. Ultrastructural analysis of TB-47stop-infected cells clearly showed cytoplasmic accumulations of nonenveloped capsids that were only partially tegumented, indicating that these capsids failed to complete tegumentation. Nevertheless, these accumulations were positive for HCMV inner tegument proteins pp150 and pUL48, suggesting that their attachment to capsids occurs independently of pUL47. Despite these morphological alterations, fully enveloped virus particles were found in the extracellular space and at the viral assembly complex (vAC) of TB-47stop-infected cells, indicating that pUL47 is not essential for the generation of virions. We confirmed findings that incorporation of pUL48 into virions is impaired in the absence of pUL47. Interestingly, pUL47 exhibited a strong nuclear localization in transfected cells, whereas it was found exclusively at the vAC in the context of virus infection. Colocalization of pUL47 and pUL48 at the vAC is consistent with their interaction. We also found a shift to a more nuclear localization of pUL47 when the expression of pUL48 was reduced. Summarizing our results, we hypothesize that pUL48 directs pUL47 to the vAC to promote tegumentation and secondary envelopment of capsids.

    IMPORTANCE Generation of infectious HCMV particles requires an organized and multistep process involving the action of several viral and cellular proteins as well as protein-protein interactions. A better understanding of these processes is important for understanding the biology of HCMV and may help to identify targets for antiviral intervention. Here, we identified tegument protein pUL47 to function in tegumentation and proper trafficking of capsids during late phases of infection. Although pUL47 is not essential for the generation and release of infectious virions, its absence led to massive accumulations of partially tegumented capsids at the cell periphery. Detection of pUL48 at these accumulations indicated a pUL47-independent attachment of pUL48 to the capsid. On the other hand, localization of pUL47 to the vAC during infection appeared to be dependent on tegument protein pUL48, which suggests an intricate interplay of these proteins for normal generation of infectious virus progeny.

  • Design and Structure of an Engineered Disulfide-Stabilized Influenza Virus Hemagglutinin Trimer [Structure and Assembly]

  • We engineered a disulfide-stabilized influenza virus hemagglutinin (HA) trimer, termed HA3-SS, by introducing cysteine residues into the HA stem to covalently bridge the three protomers. HA3-SS has increased thermostability compared to wild-type HA, and binding of head- and stem-targeted antibodies (Abs) is preserved; only minor structural changes are found in the vicinity of the additional disulfide. This platform has been applied to H1 and H3 HAs and provides prospects for design of intact, stabilized influenza virus HA immunogens.