Reconstitution of an RNA Virus replicase in artificial giant unilamellar vesicles supports full replication and provides protection for the double-stranded RNA replication intermediate

Nikolay Kovalev, Judit Pogany, Peter D. Nagy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations

Abstract

Positive-strand RNA [(+)RNA] viruses are important pathogens of humans, animals, and plants and replicate inside host cells by coopting numerous host factors and subcellular membranes. To gain insights into the assembly of viral replicase complexes (VRCs) and dissect the roles of various lipids and coopted host factors, we have reconstituted Tomato bushy stunt virus (TBSV) replicase using artificial giant unilamellar vesicles (GUVs). We demonstrate that reconstitution of VRCs on GUVs with endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-like phospholipid composition results in a complete cycle of replication and asymmetrical RNA synthesis, which is a hallmark of (+)RNA viruses. TBSV VRCs assembled on GUVs provide significant protection of the double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) replication intermediate against the dsRNA-specific RNase III. The lipid compositions of GUVs have pronounced effects on in vitro TBSV replication, including (-) and (+)RNA synthesis. The GUV-based assay has led to the discovery of the critical role of phosphatidylserine in TBSV replication and a novel role for phosphatidylethanolamine in asymmetrical (+)RNA synthesis. The GUV-based assay also showed stimulatory effects by phosphatidylinositol-3-phosphate [PI(3)P] and ergosterol on TBSV replication. We demonstrate that eEF1A and Hsp70 coopted replicase assembly factors, Vps34 phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K) and the membrane-bending ESCRT factors, are required for reconstitution of the active TBSV VRCs in GUVs, further supporting that the novel GUV-based in vitro approach recapitulates critical steps and involves essential coopted cellular factors of the TBSV replication process. Taken together, this novel GUV assay will be highly suitable to dissect the functions of viral and cellular factors in TBSV replication. IMPORTANCE Understanding the mechanism of replication of positive-strand RNA viruses, which are major pathogens of plants, animals, and humans, can lead to new targets for antiviral interventions. These viruses subvert intracellular membranes for virus replication and coopt numerous host proteins, whose functions during virus replication are not yet completely defined. To dissect the roles of various host factors in Tomato bushy stunt virus (TBSV) replication, we have developed an artificial giant unilamellar vesicle (GUV)-based replication assay. The GUV-based in vitro approach recapitulates critical steps of the TBSV replication process. GUV-based reconstitution of the TBSV replicase revealed the need for a complex mixture of phospholipids, especially phosphatidylserine and phosphatidylethanolamine, in TBSV replication. The GUV-based approach will be useful to dissect the functions of essential coopted cellular factors.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00267-20
JournalJournal of Virology
Volume94
Issue number18
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

Bibliographical note

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

Keywords

  • Host factors
  • In vitro
  • Phospholipid
  • Plant
  • RNA virus
  • Replication
  • TBSV
  • Tomato bushy stunt virus

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology

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