HCMV UL76 is a member of a conserved Herpesviridae protein family (Herpes_UL24) that is involved in viral production, latency, and reactivation. UL76 presents as globular aggresomes in the nuclei of transiently transfected cells. Bioinformatic analyses predict that UL76 has a propensity for aggregation and targets cellular proteins implicated in protein folding and ubiquitinproteasome systems (UPS). Furthermore, fluorescence recovery after photobleaching experiments suggests that UL76 reduces protein mobility in the aggresome, which indicates that UL76 elicits the aggregation of misfolded proteins. Moreover, in the absence of other viral proteins, UL76 interacts with S5a, which is a major receptor of polyubiquitinated proteins for UPS proteolysis via its conserved region and the von Willebrand factor type A (VWA) domain of S5a. We demonstrate that UL76 sequesters polyubiquitinated proteins and S5a to nuclear aggresomes in biological proximity. After knockdown of endogenous S5a by RNA interference techniques, the UL76 level was only minimally affected in transiently expressing cells. However, a significant reduction in the number of cells containing UL76 nuclear aggresomes was observed, which suggests that S5a may play a key role in aggresome formation. Moreover, we show that UL76 interacts with S5a in the late phase of viral infection and that knockdown of S5a hinders the development of both the replication compartment and the aggresome. In this study, we demonstrate that UL76 induces a novel nuclear aggresome, likely by subverting S5a of the UPS. Given that UL76 belongs to a conserved family, this underlying mechanism may be shared by all members of the Herpesviridae.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Insect Science