The human metapneumovirus small hydrophobic protein has properties consistent with those of a viroporin and can modulate viral fusogenic activity

Cyril Masante, Farah El Najjar, Andres Chang, Angela Jones, Carole L. Moncman, Rebecca Ellis Dutch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Human metapneumovirus (HMPV) encodes three glycoproteins: the glycoprotein, which plays a role in glycosaminoglycan binding, the fusion (F) protein, which is necessary and sufficient for both viral binding to the target cell and fusion between the cellular plasma membrane and the viral membrane, and the small hydrophobic (SH) protein, whose function is unclear. The SH protein of the closely related respiratory syncytial virus has been suggested to function as a viroporin, as it forms oligomeric structures consistent with a pore and alters membrane permeability. Our analysis indicates that both the full-length HMPV SH protein and the isolated SH protein transmembrane domain can associate into higher-order oligomers. In addition, HMPV SH expression resulted in increases in permeability to hygromycin B and alteration of subcellular localization of a fluorescent dye, indicating that SH affects membrane permeability. These results suggest that the HMPV SH protein has several characteristics consistent with a putative viroporin. Interestingly, we also report that expression of the HMPV SH protein can significantly decrease HMPV F protein-promoted membrane fusion activity, with the SH extracellular domain and transmembrane domain playing a key role in this inhibition. These results suggest that the HMPV SH protein could regulate both membrane permeability and fusion protein function during viral infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6423-6433
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Virology
Volume88
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Immunology
  • Insect Science
  • Virology

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