Clathrin facilitates the morphogenesis of retrovirus particles

Zhang, F., Zang, T., Wilson, S.J. , Johnson, M.C. and Bieniasz, P.D. (2011) Clathrin facilitates the morphogenesis of retrovirus particles. PLoS Pathogens, 7(6), e1002119. (doi: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1002119)

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Abstract

The morphogenesis of retroviral particles is driven by Gag and GagPol proteins that provide the major structural component and enzymatic activities required for particle assembly and maturation. In addition, a number of cellular proteins are found in retrovirus particles; some of these are important for viral replication, but many lack a known functional role. One such protein is clathrin, which is assumed to be passively incorporated into virions due to its abundance at the plasma membrane. We found that clathrin is not only exceptionally abundant in highly purified HIV-1 particles but is recruited with high specificity. In particular, the HIV-1 Pol protein was absolutely required for clathrin incorporation and point mutations in reverse transcriptase or integrase domains of Pol could abolish incorporation. Clathrin was also specifically incorporated into other retrovirus particles, including members of the lentivirus (simian immunodeficiency virus, SIVmac), gammaretrovirus (murine leukemia virus, MLV) and betaretrovirus (Mason-Pfizer monkey virus, M-PMV) genera. However, unlike HIV-1, these other retroviruses recruited clathrin primarily using peptide motifs in their respective Gag proteins that mimicked motifs found in cellular clathrin adaptors. Perturbation of clathrin incorporation into these retroviruses, via mutagenesis of viral proteins, siRNA based clathrin depletion or adaptor protein (AP180) induced clathrin sequestration, had a range of effects on the accuracy of particle morphogenesis. These effects varied according to which retrovirus was examined, and included Gag and/or Pol protein destabilization, inhibition of particle assembly and reduction in virion infectivity. For each retrovirus examined, clathrin incorporation appeared to be important for optimal replication. These data indicate that a number of retroviruses employ clathrin to facilitate the accurate morphogenesis of infectious particles. We propose a model in which clathrin contributes to the spatial organization of Gag and Pol proteins, and thereby regulates proteolytic processing of virion components during particle assembly.

Item Type:Articles
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Wilson, Professor Sam
Authors: Zhang, F., Zang, T., Wilson, S.J., Johnson, M.C., and Bieniasz, P.D.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Infection & Immunity
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Infection & Immunity > Centre for Virus Research
Journal Name:PLoS Pathogens
Publisher:Public Library of Science
ISSN:1553-7366
ISSN (Online):1553-7366
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2011 The Authors
First Published:First published in PLoS Pathogens 7(6):e1002119
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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