Assembly-hub function of ER-localized SNARE proteins in biogenesis of tombusvirus replication compartment

Zsuzsanna Sasvari, Nikolay Kovalev, Paulina Alatriste Gonzalez, Kai Xu, Peter D. Nagy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Positive-strand RNA viruses assemble numerous membrane-bound viral replicase complexes within large replication compartments to support their replication in infected cells. Yet the detailed mechanism of how given subcellular compartments are subverted by viruses is incompletely understood. Although, Tomato bushy stunt virus (TBSV) uses peroxisomal membranes for replication, in this paper, we show evidence that the ER-resident SNARE (soluble NSF attachment protein receptor) proteins play critical roles in the formation of active replicase complexes in yeast model host and in plants. Depletion of the syntaxin 18-like Ufe1 and Use1, which are components of the ER SNARE complex in the ERAS (ER arrival site) subdomain, in yeast resulted in greatly reduced tombusvirus accumulation. Over-expression of a dominant-negative mutant of either the yeast Ufe1 or the orthologous plant Syp81 syntaxin greatly interferes with tombusvirus replication in yeast and plants, thus further supporting the role of this host protein in tombusvirus replication. Moreover, tombusvirus RNA replication was low in cell-free extracts from yeast with repressed Ufe1 or Use1 expression. We also present evidence for the mislocalization of the tombusviral p33 replication protein to the ER membrane in Ufe1p-depleted yeast cells. The viral p33 replication protein interacts with both Ufe1p and Use1p and co-opts them into the TBSV replication compartment in yeast and plant cells. The co-opted Ufe1 affects the virus-driven membrane contact site formation, sterol-enrichment at replication sites, recruitment of several pro-viral host factors and subversion of the Rab5-positive PE-rich endosomes needed for robust TBSV replication. In summary, we demonstrate a critical role for Ufe1 and Use1 SNARE proteins in TBSV replication and propose that the pro-viral functions of Ufe1 and Use1 are to serve as assembly hubs for the formation of the extensive TBSV replication compartments in cells. Altogether, these findings point clearly at the ERAS subdomain of ER as a critical site for the biogenesis of the TBSV replication compartment.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere1007028
JournalPLoS Pathogens
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Science Foundation (grant#: MCB1517751). The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript. The authors thank Dr. D. Barajas for valuable comments, and performing initial experiments. Yeast strains RY261C and RY270D were generous gifts from Dr. Frederick M. Hughson (Princeton University). Yeast strain YAS2801 was a generous gift from Dr. Anne Spang (Biozentrum University of Basel, Switzerland). Yeast strain SFNY 2134 that harbored the chromosomally-tagged SEY1-5xRFP::LEU2 was provided by Dr. Susan Ferro-Novick (University of California, San Diego, HHMI). The authors thank Dr. William Prinz (NIH/NIDDK/LCBB) for providing yeast strains JHY4 and ACY 44.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 Sasvari et al.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Virology


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