1887

Abstract

Hijacking host membranes to assemble a membrane-associated viral replicase is a hallmark of almost all positive-strand RNA viruses. However, how the virus co-opts host factors to facilitate this energy-unfavourable process is incompletely understood. In a previous study, using hepatitis C virus (HCV) as a model and employing affinity purification of the viral replicase, we identified a valosin-containing protein (p97/VCP), a member of the ATPases associated with diverse cellular activities (AAA+ ATPase family), as a viral replicase-associated host factor. It is required for viral replication, depending on its ATPase activity. In this study, we used VCP pharmacological inhibitors and short hairpin (sh) RNA-mediated knockdown to ablate VCP function and then dissected the roles of VCP in viral replicase assembly in an HCV subgenomic replicon system and a viral replicase assembly surrogate system. Ablation of VCP specifically resulted in the pronounced formation of an SDS-resistant aggregation of HCV NS5A and the reduction of hyperphosphorylation of NS5A. The NS5A dimerization domain was indispensable for aggregation and the NS5A disordered regions also contributed to a lesser extent. The reduction of the hyperphosphorylation of NS5A coincided with the aggregation of NS5A. We propose that HCV may co-opt VCP to disaggregate an aggregation-prone replicase module to facilitate its replicase assembly.

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2017-07-10
2019-10-18
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