5 years ago

Characterization of a replicating mammalian orthoreovirus with tetracysteine tagged μNS for live cell visualization of viral factories.

Bussiere LD, Bellaire B, Choudhury P, Miller CL
Within infected host cells, mammalian orthoreovirus (MRV) forms viral factories (VFs) which are sites of viral transcription, translation, assembly, and replication. MRV non-structural protein, μNS, comprises the structural matrix of VFs and is involved in recruiting other viral proteins to VF structures. Previous attempts have been made to visualize VF dynamics in live cells but due to current limitations in recovery of replicating reoviruses carrying large fluorescent protein tags, researchers have been unable to directly assess VF dynamics from virus-produced μNS. We set out to develop a method to overcome this obstacle by utilizing the 6 amino acid (CCPGCC) tetracysteine (TC)-tag and FlAsH-EDT2 reagent. The TC-tag was introduced into eight sites throughout μNS, and the capacity of the TC-μNS fusion proteins to form virus factory-like (VFL) structures and colocalize with virus proteins was characterized. Insertion of the TC-tag interfered with recombinant virus rescue in six of the eight mutants, likely as a result of loss of VF formation or important virus protein interactions. However, two recombinant (r)TC-μNS viruses were rescued and VF formation, colocalization with associating virus proteins, and characterization of virus replication were subsequently examined. Furthermore the rTC-μNS viruses were utilized to infect cells and examine VF dynamics using live cell microscopy. These experiments demonstrate active VF movement with fusion events as well as transient interactions between individual VFs, and demonstrate the importance of microtubule stability for VF fusion during MRV infection. This work provides important groundwork for future in depth studies of VF dynamics and host cell interactions.IMPORTANCE MRV has historically been used as a model to study the double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) Reoviridae family, which infect and cause disease in humans, animals, and plants. During infection, MRV forms VFs that play a critical role in virus infection, but remain to be fully characterized. To study VFs, researchers have focused on visualizing the non-structural protein μNS which forms the VF matrix. This work provides the first evidence of recovery of replicating reoviruses in which VFs can be labeled in live cells via introduction of a TC-tag into the μNS open reading frame. Characterization of each recombinant reovirus sheds light on μNS interactions with viral proteins. Moreover, utilizing the TC labeling FlAsH-EDT2 biarsenical reagent to visualize VFs, evidence is provided of dynamic VF movement and interactions at least partially dependent on intact microtubules.

Publisher URL: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28878073

DOI: PubMed:28878073

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