Co-opted cellular sac1 lipid phosphatase and PI(4)P phosphoinositide are key host factors during the biogenesis of the tombusvirus replication compartment

Zsuzsanna Sasvari, Wenwu Lin, Jun Ichi Inaba, Kai Xu, Nikolay Kovalev, Peter D. Nagy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Positive-strand RNA [(+)RNA] viruses assemble numerous membrane-bound viral replicase complexes (VRCs) with the help of viral replication proteins and co-opted host proteins within large viral replication compartments in the cytosol of infected cells. In this study, we found that deletion or depletion of Sac1 phosphatidylinositol 4-phosphate [PI(4)P] phosphatase reduced tomato bushy stunt virus (TBSV) replication in yeast (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) and plants. We demonstrate a critical role for Sac1 in TBSV replicase assembly in a cell-free replicase reconstitution assay. The effect of Sac1 seems to be direct, based on its interaction with the TBSV p33 replication protein, its copurification with the tombusvirus replicase, and its presence in the virus-induced membrane contact sites and within the TBSV replication compartment. The proviral functions of Sac1 include manipulation of lipid composition, sterol enrichment within the VRCs, and recruitment of additional host factors into VRCs. Depletion of Sac1 inhibited the recruitment of Rab5 GTPase-positive endosomes and enrichment of phosphatidylethanolamine in the viral replication compartment. We propose that Sac1 might be a component of the assembly hub for VRCs, likely in collaboration with the co-opted the syntaxin18-like Ufe1 SNARE protein within the TBSV replication compartments. This work also led to demonstration of the enrichment of PI(4)P phosphoinositide within the replication compartment. Reduction in the PI(4)P level due to chemical inhibition in plant protoplasts; depletion of two PI(4)P kinases, Stt4p and Pik1p; or sequestration of free PI(4)P via expression of a PI(4)P-binding protein in yeast strongly inhibited TBSV replication. Altogether, Sac1 and PI(4)P play important proviral roles during TBSV replication. IMPORTANCE Replication of positive-strand RNA viruses depends on recruitment of host components into viral replication compartments or organelles. Using TBSV, we uncovered the critical roles of Sac1 PI(4)P phosphatase and its substrate, PI(4)P phosphoinositide, in promoting viral replication. Both Sac1 and PI(4)P are recruited to the site of viral replication to facilitate the assembly of the viral replicase complexes, which perform viral RNA replication. We found that Sac1 affects the recruitment of other host factors and enrichment of phosphatidylethanolamine and sterol lipids within the subverted host membranes to promote optimal viral replication. In summary, this work demonstrates the novel functions of Sac1 and PI(4)P in TBSV replication in the model host yeast and in plants.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere01979-19
JournalJournal of Virology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 1 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.


  • Lipid phosphatase
  • Membrane contact site
  • Membranes
  • PI(4)P
  • Plant
  • Replication
  • Sterol
  • Tomato bushy stunt virus
  • Virus-host interaction
  • Yeast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology


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