Human Cytomegalovirus UL97 Phosphorylates the Viral Nuclear Egress Complex
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CitationSharma, Mayuri, Brian J. Bender, Jeremy P. Kamil, Ming F. Lye, Jean M. Pesola, Natalia I. Reim, James M. Hogle, and Donald M. Coen. 2014. “Human Cytomegalovirus UL97 Phosphorylates the Viral Nuclear Egress Complex.” Edited by R. M. Sandri-Goldin. Journal of Virology 89 (1): 523–34. https://doi.org/10.1128/jvi.02426-14.
AbstractHerpesvirus nucleocapsids exit the host cell nucleus in an unusual process known as nuclear egress. The human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) UL97 protein kinase is required for efficient nuclear egress, which can be explained by its phosphorylation of the nuclear lamina component lamin A/C, which disrupts the nuclear lamina. We found that a dominant negative lamin A/C mutant complemented the replication defect of a virus lacking UL97 in dividing cells, validating this explanation. However, as complementation was incomplete, we investigated whether the HCMV nuclear egress complex (NEC) subunits UL50 and UL53, which are required for nuclear egress and recruit UL97 to the nuclear rim, are UL97 substrates. Using mass spectrometry, we detected UL97-dependent phosphorylation of UL50 residue S216 (UL50-S216) and UL53-S19 in infected cells. Moreover, UL53-S19 was specifically phosphorylated by UL97 in vitro. Notably, treatment of infected cells with the UL97 inhibitor maribavir or infection with a UL97 mutant led to a punctate rather than a continuous distribution of the NEC at the nuclear rim. Alanine substitutions in both UL50-S216 and UL53-S19 resulted in a punctate distribution of the NEC in infected cells and also decreased virus production and nuclear egress in the absence of maribavir. These results indicate that UL97 phosphorylates the NEC and suggest that this phosphorylation modulates nuclear egress. Thus, the UL97-NEC interaction appears to recruit UL97 to the nuclear rim both for disruption of the nuclear lamina and phosphorylation of the NEC. IMPORTANCE Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) causes birth defects and it can cause life-threatening diseases in immunocompromised patients. HCMV assembles in the nucleus and then translocates to the cytoplasm in an unusual process termed nuclear egress, an attractive target for antiviral therapy. A viral enzyme, UL97, is important for nuclear egress. It has been proposed that this is due to its role in disruption of the nuclear lamina, which would otherwise impede nuclear egress. In validating this proposal, we showed that independent disruption of the lamina can overcome a loss of UL97, but only partly, suggesting additional roles for UL97 during nuclear egress. We then found that UL97 phosphorylates the viral nuclear egress complex (NEC), which is essential for nuclear egress, and we obtained evidence that this phosphorylation modulates this process. Our results highlight a new role for UL97, the mutual dependence of the viral NEC and UL97 during nuclear egress, and differences among herpesviruses.
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