skip to main content

This content will become publicly available on June 1, 2023

Title: Identification of Cellular Genes Involved in Baculovirus GP64 Trafficking to the Plasma Membrane
ABSTRACT The baculovirus envelope protein GP64 is an essential component of the budded virus and is necessary for efficient virion assembly. Little is known regarding intracellular trafficking of GP64 to the plasma membrane, where it is incorporated into budding virions during egress. To identify host proteins and potential cellular trafficking pathways that are involved in delivery of GP64 to the plasma membrane, we developed and characterized a stable Drosophila cell line that inducibly expresses the AcMNPV GP64 protein and used that cell line in combination with a targeted RNA interference (RNAi) screen of vesicular protein trafficking pathway genes. Of the 37 initial hits from the screen, we validated and examined six host genes that were important for trafficking of GP64 to the cell surface. Validated hits included Rab GTPases Rab1 and Rab4 , Clathrin heavy chain , clathrin adaptor protein genes AP-1-2β and AP-2μ , and Snap29 . Two gene knockdowns ( Rab5 and Exo84 ) caused substantial increases (up to 2.5-fold) of GP64 on the plasma membrane. We found that a small amount of GP64 is released from cells in exosomes and that some portion of cell surface GP64 is endocytosed, suggesting that recycling helps to maintain GP64 at more » the cell surface. IMPORTANCE While much is known regarding trafficking of viral envelope proteins in mammalian cells, little is known about this process in insect cells. To begin to understand which factors and pathways are needed for trafficking of insect virus envelope proteins, we engineered a Drosophila melanogaster cell line and implemented an RNAi screen to identify cellular proteins that aid transport of the model baculovirus envelope protein (GP64) to the cell surface. For this we developed an experimental system that leverages the large array of tools available for Drosophila and performed a targeted RNAi screen to identify cellular proteins involved in GP64 trafficking to the cell surface. Since viral envelope proteins are often critical for production of infectious progeny virions, these studies lay the foundation for understanding how either pathogenic insect viruses (baculoviruses) or insect-vectored viruses (e.g., flaviviruses, alphaviruses) egress from cells in tissues such as the midgut to enable systemic virus infection. « less
; ;
Sandri-Goldin, Rozanne M.
Award ID(s):
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Journal of Virology
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. ABSTRACT In eukaryotic cells, the s oluble N -ethylmaleimide- s ensitive f actor (NSF) a ttachment protein re ceptor (SNARE) proteins comprise the minimal machinery that triggers fusion of transport vesicles with their target membranes. Comparative studies revealed that genes encoding the components of the SNARE system are highly conserved in yeast, insect, and human genomes. Upon infection of insect cells by the virus Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV), the transcript levels of most SNARE genes initially were upregulated. We found that overexpression of dominant-negative (DN) forms of NSF or knockdown of the expression of NSF, the key regulator of the SNARE system, significantly affected infectious AcMNPV production. In cells expressing DN NSF, entering virions were trapped in the cytoplasm or transported to the nucleus with low efficiency. The presence of DN NSF also moderately reduced trafficking of the viral envelope glycoprotein GP64 to the plasma membrane but dramatically inhibited production of infectious budded virions (BV). Transmission electron microscopy analysis of infections in cells expressing DN NSF revealed that progeny nucleocapsids were retained in a perinuclear space surrounded by inner and outer nuclear membranes. Several baculovirus conserved (core) proteins (Ac76, Ac78, GP41, Ac93, and Ac103) that are important for infectiousmore »budded virion production were found to associate with NSF, and NSF was detected within the assembled BV. Together, these data indicate that the cellular SNARE system is involved in AcMNPV infection and that NSF is required for efficient entry and nuclear egress of budded virions of AcMNPV. IMPORTANCE Little is known regarding the complex interplay between cellular factors and baculoviruses during viral entry and egress. Here, we examined the cellular SNARE system, which mediates the fusion of vesicles in healthy cells, and its relation to baculovirus infection. Using a DN approach and RNA interference knockdown, we demonstrated that a general disruption of the SNARE machinery significantly inhibited the production of infectious BV of AcMNPV. The presence of a DN NSF protein resulted in low-efficiency entry of BV and the retention of progeny nucleocapsids in the perinuclear space during egress. Combined with these effects, we also found that several conserved (core) baculovirus proteins closely associate with NSF, and these results suggest their involvement in the egress of BV. Our findings are the first to demonstrate that the SNARE system is required for efficient entry of BV and nuclear egress of progeny nucleocapsids of baculoviruses.« less
  2. ABSTRACT The endosomal sorting complex required for transport (ESCRT) machinery is necessary for budding of many enveloped viruses. Recently, it was demonstrated that Vps4, the key regulator for recycling of the ESCRT-III complex, is required for efficient infection by the baculovirus Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV). However, ESCRT assembly, regulation, and function are complex, and little is known regarding the details of participation of specific ESCRT complexes in AcMNPV infection. In this study, the core components of ESCRT-I (Tsg101 and Vps28) and ESCRT-III (Vps2B, Vps20, Vps24, Snf7, Vps46, and Vps60) were cloned from Spodoptera frugiperda . Using a viral complementation system and RNA interference (RNAi) assays, we found that ESCRT-I and ESCRT-III complexes are required for efficient entry of AcMNPV into insect cells. In cells knocking down or overexpressing dominant negative (DN) forms of the components of ESCRT-I and ESCRT-III complexes, entering virions were partially trapped within the cytosol. To examine only egress, cells were transfected with the double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) targeting an individual ESCRT-I or ESCRT-III gene and viral bacmid DNA or viral bacmid DNA that expressed DN forms of ESCRT-I and ESCRT-III components. We found that ESCRT-III components (but not ESCRT-I components) are required for efficient nuclear egressmore »of progeny nucleocapsids. In addition, we found that several baculovirus core or conserved proteins (Ac11, Ac76, Ac78, GP41, Ac93, Ac103, Ac142, and Ac146) interact with Vps4 and components of ESCRT-III. We propose that these viral proteins may form an “egress complex” that is involved in recruiting ESCRT-III components to a virus egress domain on the nuclear membrane. IMPORTANCE The ESCRT system is hijacked by many enveloped viruses to mediate budding and release. Recently, it was found that Vps4, the key regulator of the cellular ESCRT machinery, is necessary for efficient entry and egress of Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV). However, little is known about the roles of specific ESCRT complexes in AcMNPV infection. In this study, we demonstrated that ESCRT-I and ESCRT-III complexes are required for efficient entry of AcMNPV into insect cells. The components of ESCRT-III (but not ESCRT-I) are also necessary for efficient nuclear egress of progeny nucleocapsids. Several baculovirus core or conserved proteins were found to interact with Vps4 and components of ESCRT-III, and these interactions may suggest the formation of an “egress complex” involved in the nuclear release or transport of viral nucleocapsids.« less
  3. ABSTRACT The mechanism by which nucleocapsids of Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) egress from the nucleus to the plasma membrane, leading to the formation of budded virus (BV), is not known. AC141 is a nucleocapsid-associated protein required for BV egress and has previously been shown to be associated with β-tubulin. In addition, AC141 and VP39 were previously shown by fluorescence resonance energy transfer by fluorescence lifetime imaging to interact directly with the Drosophila melanogaster kinesin-1 light chain (KLC) tetratricopeptide repeat (TPR) domain. These results suggested that microtubule transport systems may be involved in baculovirus nucleocapsid egress and BV formation. In this study, we investigated the role of lepidopteran microtubule transport using coimmunoprecipitation, colocalization, yeast two-hybrid, and small interfering RNA (siRNA) analyses. We show that nucleocapsid AC141 associates with the lepidopteran Trichoplusia ni KLC and kinesin-1 heavy chain (KHC) by coimmunoprecipitation and colocalization. Kinesin-1, AC141, and microtubules colocalized predominantly at the plasma membrane. In addition, the nucleocapsid proteins VP39, FP25, and BV/ODV-C42 were also coimmunoprecipitated with T. ni KLC. Direct analysis of the role of T. ni kinesin-1 by downregulation of KLC by siRNA resulted in a significant decrease in BV production. Nucleocapsids labeled with VP39 fused with three copies ofmore »the mCherry fluorescent protein also colocalized with microtubules. Yeast two-hybrid analysis showed no evidence of a direct interaction between kinesin-1 and AC141 or VP39, suggesting that either other nucleocapsid proteins or adaptor proteins may be required. These results further support the conclusion that microtubule transport is required for AcMNPV BV formation. IMPORTANCE In two key processes of the replication cycle of the baculovirus Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV), nucleocapsids are transported through the cell. These include (i) entry of budded virus (BV) into the host cell and (ii) egress and budding of nucleocapsids newly produced from the plasma membrane. Prior studies have shown that the entry of nucleocapsids involves the polymerization of actin to propel nucleocapsids to nuclear pores and entry into the nucleus. For the spread of infection, progeny viruses must rapidly exit the infected cells, but the mechanism by which AcMNPV nucleocapsids traverse the cytoplasm is unknown. In this study, we examined whether nucleocapsids interact with lepidopteran kinesin-1 motor molecules and are potentially carried as cargo on microtubules to the plasma membrane in AcMNPV-infected cells. This study indicates that microtubule transport is utilized for the production of budded virus.« less
  4. Baculoviruses are large DNA viruses of insects that are highly pathogenic in many hosts. In the infection cycle, baculoviruses produce two types of virions. These virion phenotypes are physically and functionally distinct, and each serves a critical role in the biology of the virus. One phenotype, the occlusion-derived virus (ODV), is occluded within a crystallized protein that facilitates oral infection of the host. A large complex of at least nine ODV envelope proteins called per os infectivity factors are critically important for ODV infection of insect midgut epithelial cells. Viral egress from midgut cells is by budding to produce a second virus phenotype, the budded virus (BV). BV binds, enters, and replicates in most other tissues of the host insect. Cell recognition and entry by BV are mediated by a single major envelope glycoprotein: GP64 in some baculoviruses and F in others. Entry and egress by the two virion phenotypes occur by dramatically different mechanisms and reflect a life cycle in which ODV is specifically adapted for oral infection while BV mediates dissemination of the infection within the animal.
  5. ABSTRACT The baculovirus Autographa californica multiple nucleopolyhedrovirus (AcMNPV) is a large double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) virus that encodes approximately 156 genes and is highly pathogenic to a variety of larval lepidopteran insects in nature. Oral infection of larval midgut cells is initiated by the occlusion-derived virus (ODV), while secondary infection of other tissues is mediated by the budded virus (BV). Global viral gene expression has been studied in detail in BV-infected cell cultures, but studies of ODV infection in the larval midgut are limited. In this study, we examined expression of the ∼156 AcMNPV genes in Trichoplusia ni midgut tissue using a transcriptomic approach. We analyzed expression profiles of viral genes in the midgut and compared them with profiles from a T. ni cell line (Tnms42). Several viral genes ( p6.9 , orf76 , orf75 , pp31 , Ac-bro , odv-e25 , and odv-ec27 ) had high expression levels in the midgut throughout the infection. Also, the expression of genes associated with occlusion bodies ( polh and p10 ) appeared to be delayed in the midgut in comparison with the cell line. Comparisons of viral gene expression profiles revealed remarkable similarities between the midgut and cell line for most genes, althoughmore »substantial differences were observed for some viral genes. These included genes associated with high level BV production ( fp-25k ), acceleration of systemic infection ( v-fgf ), and enhancement of viral movement ( arif-1/orf20 ). These differential expression patterns appear to represent specific adaptations for virus infection and transmission through the polarized cells of the lepidopteran midgut. IMPORTANCE Baculoviruses such as AcMNPV are pathogens that are natural regulators of certain insect populations. Baculovirus infections are biphasic, with a primary phase initiated by oral infection of midgut epithelial cells by occlusion-derived virus (ODV) virions and a secondary phase in which other tissues are infected by budded-virus (BV) virions. While AcMNPV infections in cultured cells have been studied extensively, comparatively little is known regarding primary infection in the midgut. In these studies, we identified gene expression patterns associated with ODV-mediated infection of the midgut in Trichoplusia ni and compared those results with prior results from BV-infected cultured cells, which simulate secondary infection. These studies provide a detailed analysis of viral gene expression patterns in the midgut, which likely represent specific viral strategies to (i) overcome or avoid host defenses in the gut and (ii) rapidly move infection from the midgut, into the hemocoel to facilitate systemic infection.« less