1887

Abstract

The Marburg virus (MARV) matrix protein, VP40, is a multifunctional protein that is essential for the assembly and release of viral particles, inhibition of the interferon response and viral transcription/replication. VP40 is assumed to be present as soluble monomers and membrane-bound higher-order oligomers. To investigate the functional relevance of oligomerization and lipid binding of VP40 we constructed mutants with impaired VP40–VP40 or VP40–lipid interactions and tested their capacity to bind the plasma membrane, to form virus-like particles (VLPs) and to inhibit viral RNA synthesis. All of the analysed VP40 mutants formed perinuclear aggregates and were defective in their delivery to the plasma membrane and in VLP production. The VP40 mutants that were competent for oligomerization but lacked VP40–lipid interactions formed fibril-like structures, influenced MARV inclusion body formation and inhibited viral transcription/replication more strongly than the VP40 wild-type. Altogether, mutations that interfere with VP40’s transition from monomer to higher-order oligomers and/or lipid interactions destroy the protein’s multifunctionality.

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2018-11-05
2019-12-05
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