Modulation of the cellular distribution of human cytomegalovirus helicase by cellular factor Snapin.

TitleModulation of the cellular distribution of human cytomegalovirus helicase by cellular factor Snapin.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsLuo J, Chen J, Yang E, Shen A, Gong H, Pei Z, Xiao G, Lu S, Liu F
JournalJournal of virology
Date Published2013 Oct

Controlled regulation of genomic DNA synthesis is a universally conserved process for all herpesviruses, including human cytomegalovirus (HCMV), and plays a key role in viral pathogenesis, such as persistent infections. HCMV UL105 is believed to encode the helicase of the DNA replication machinery that needs to localize in the nuclei, the site of viral DNA synthesis. No host factors that interact with UL105 have been identified. In this study, we show that UL105 specifically interacts with Snapin, a human protein that is predominantly localized in the cytoplasm and associated with cellular vesicles. UL105 was found to interact with Snapin in both the yeast two-hybrid screen and coimmunoprecipitation experiments in HCMV-infected cells. The nuclear and cytoplasmic levels of UL105 were decreased and increased in cells overexpressing Snapin, respectively, while the levels of UL105 in the nuclei and cytoplasm were increased and decreased in cells in which the expression of Snapin was downregulated with anti-Snapin small interfering RNA (siRNA) molecules, respectively. Furthermore, viral DNA synthesis and progeny production were decreased in cells overexpressing Snapin and increased in the anti-Snapin siRNA-treated cells, respectively. Our results provide the first direct evidence to suggest that Snapin interacts with UL105 and alters its cellular distribution, leading to modulation of viral DNA synthesis and progeny production. Our study further suggests that modulation of the cellular distribution of viral helicase by Snapin may represent a possible mechanism for regulating HCMV genomic DNA synthesis, a key step during herpesvirus lytic and persistent infections.

Alternate JournalJ. Virol.