UMMS Affiliation

Program in Molecular Medicine

Publication Date

2020-01-15

Document Type

Article

Disciplines

Amino Acids, Peptides, and Proteins | Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology | Genetic Phenomena | Genetics and Genomics | Virology | Viruses

Abstract

For highly pathogenic viruses, reporter assays that can be rapidly performed are critically needed to identify potentially functional mutations for further study under maximal containment (e.g., biosafety level 4 [BSL-4]). The Ebola virus nucleoprotein (NP) plays multiple essential roles during the viral life cycle, yet few tools exist to study the protein under BSL-2 or equivalent containment. Therefore, we adapted reporter assays to measure NP oligomerization and virion-like particle (VLP) production in live cells and further measured transcription and replication using established minigenome assays. As a proof-of-concept, we examined the NP-R111C substitution, which emerged during the 20132016 Western African Ebola virus disease epidemic and rose to high frequency. NP-R111C slightly increased NP oligomerization and VLP budding but slightly decreased transcription and replication. By contrast, a synthetic charge-reversal mutant, NP-R111E, greatly increased oligomerization but abrogated transcription and replication. These results are intriguing in light of recent structures of NP oligomers, which reveal that the neighboring residue, K110, forms a salt bridge with E349 on adjacent NP molecules. By developing and utilizing multiple reporter assays, we find that the NP-111 position mediates a complex interplay between NP's roles in protein structure, virion budding, and transcription and replication.

Keywords

Ebola virus, budding, nucleoprotein, oligomerization, reporter assays, viral evolution

Rights and Permissions

© 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/)

DOI of Published Version

10.3390/v12010105

Source

Lin AE, Diehl WE, Cai Y, Finch CL, Akusobi C, Kirchdoerfer RN, Bollinger L, Schaffner SF, Brown EA, Saphire EO, Andersen KG, Kuhn JH, Luban J, Sabeti PC. Reporter Assays for Ebola Virus Nucleoprotein Oligomerization, Virion-Like Particle Budding, and Minigenome Activity Reveal the Importance of Nucleoprotein Amino Acid Position 111. Viruses. 2020 Jan 15;12(1):E105. doi: 10.3390/v12010105. PMID: 31952352. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Viruses

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID

31952352

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Share

COinS